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Full text of "Eastside draft environmental impact statement v.1"

BLM LIBRARY 




88065594 r j. • j^ i i^- ^ - ^ .,- 

f^^M United states interior Columbia Basin Ecosyste m. Management Project 

W^S&^) Department of ^= 




Agriculture 
Forest Service 



United States ,,^7--— ^ 



T^lhe Interior ' ,•' 



Eastside 
DrafE 




Organization of This Document 




Index 



H3iM30 l¥lfiQ3i mmBQ 



References 



Glossary 






Consultation and 
Coordination 



Environmental 

Consequences 



Alternatives 



^^^ 



Affected 

Environment 



Introduction I 



Preferred 
Alternative 



Eastside 
Draft EIS 



1 



3 



4 



Voluine 2 



Appendices provide additional 
documentation aiid details. 



Chapter 5 provides a list of preparers of the EIS, 
and other contributors, and a list of those who were 
sent the Draft EIS. 



Chapter 4 discloses and evaluates the possible environmental, 
social, and economic consequences of implementing the proposed 
alternatives. 



Chapter 3 presents and compares the alternatives, including the No Action 
Alternative, incorporating the latest scientific information. 



Chapter 2 describes the existing environment, including conditions and trends that will 
be addressed by the aUcmalives. 



Chapter 1 introduces the purpose &. need for the proposed action, public issues surrounding the 
proposal, decisions to be made, and other information. 



The Preferred Alternative as selected by the Executive Steering Committee and the 
reasons for selection. 



As the Nation's principal conservation agency, the Department of the Interior has responsibility for most of 
our nationally owned public lands and natural resources. This includes fostering the wdsest use of our 
land and water resources, protecting our fish and wildlife, preserving the environmental and cultural 
values of our national parks and historical places, and providing for the enjoyment of life through outdoor 
recreation. The Department assesses our energy and mineral resources and works to assure that their 
development is in the best interest of all our people. The Department also has a major responsibility for 
American Indian reservation communities and for people who live in Island Territories under U.S. 
administration. 

BLM-OR-WA-PL-96-037+ 1 792 



The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in its programs on the basis of 
race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, and marital or familial status. (Not 
all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of 
communication of program information (braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact the USDA Office 
of Communications at (202) 720-2791 (voice) (800) 855-1234 (TDD). 

To file a complaint, write the Secretary of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 20250, 
or call (800) 245-6340 (voice) or (800) 855-1234 (TDD). USDA is an equal employment opportunity employer. 



*3g¥560 



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Ecistside 

Draft Environmental 
Impact Statement 



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V..1 



Lead Agencies: 

USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region 
USDI Bureau of Land Management, Oregon and Washington 



Responsible Officials: 

R. Williams, Regional Forester, Forest Service Region 6 
E. Zielinski, Oregon/ Washington State Director, BLM 



For further information contact: 

Jeff Blackwood, Project Manager 

Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project 

1 12 E. Poplar Street 

Walla Walla. WA 99362 

Telephone 509/522-4030: Fax 509/522-4025 

Email: ICBEMP@bmi.net 

Website: http://www.icbemp.gou 



Abstract 



The Forest Service (Department of Agriculture) and Bureau of Land Management (Department of 
Interior) propose to develop and implement a scientifically sound, ecosystem-based management 
strategy for lands they administer in eastern Oregon and Washington. A new strategy is proposed 
to meet dual needs of restoring and maintaining ecosystem health while sustaining a flow of goods 
and services from these lands to support people's needs. Two no action alternatives, which would 
not meet these needs, were analyzed. Alternative 1 (the No Action alternative) continues current 
management under existing approved plans. Alternative 2 (modified No Action alternative) 
proposes no change to current management plans except to replace interim strategies known as 
PACFISH, INFISH, and Eastside screens, with long-term direction. Five management alternatives 
[action alternatives] were developed and analyzed to meet the dual needs of the proposed action. 
Alternative 3 minimizes changes to local plans addressing only priority conditions that most 
hinder effectiveness or legal conditions while providing a more consistent and coordinated 
management approach. Alternative 4 aggressively restores ecosystem health through active 
management using an integrated ecosystem management approach. Alternative 5 emphasizes 
production of goods and services at a regional level consistent with ecosystem management 
principles. Alternative 6 emphasizes an adaptive management approach based on monitoring, 
evaluation, and scientific findings. Alternative 7 emphasizes reducing short-term risks to 
ecological integrity and species viability by establishing a system of reserves on federal lands. In 
general. Alternatives 4 and 6 would be most effective in transitioning toward healthy ecosystems 
in the long term; Alternatives 3, 5, and 7 moderately effective; and Alternatives 1 and 2 would be 
least effective. In the short term Alternative 1 would provide highest levels of commodity values; 
Alternatives 2, 3, and 4 moderate levels; and Alternative 6 and 7 low (in the long term, 
Alternatives 4 and 6 would increase; 1, 2, and 5 would decrease; 3 and 7 would remain stable). 
Alternatives 4 and 6 would provide high levels of amenity values in the long term, moderate levels 
for Alternative 7, and Alternatives 1 and 2 would actually result in a long-term decline of amenity 
values. The selected alternative will best achieve a combination of the following: restoring long- 
term ecosystem health and ecological integrity, supporting people's economic and/or social needs, 
providing consistent direction to federal managers within a broad ecological context, and 
emphasizing adaptive management over the long term. Mitigation of adverse effects has been 
incorporated into the Preferred Alternative. Monitoring, determined to be an important part of 
adaptive management, is outlined in the Implementation Framework appendix. 

Comments on the Draft EIS should be received no later than 120 days after the notice of 
availability of the EIS is published in the Federal Register. Comments should be sent to: 

ICBEMP EIS Team 

112 E. Poplar St. 

P.O. Box 2076 

Walla Walla, WA 99362 



Eastside Draft EIS 

Table of Contents 

Volume 1 



Acronyms inside back cover 

Summary before Chapter 1 

Chapter 1 

Introduction j 

Organization of the DEIS I 

Background 4 

Proposed Action 5 

Purpose ofandNeed For Action 5 

Purpose 5 

Need 5 

Changed Conditions 6 

Forestlands 7 

Rangelands 7 

Species Habitats 7 

Species Viability 7 

Aquatic Ecosystems 7 

Human Uses and Values 8 

New Information and Understandings 8 

Requirements or Authority for New Long-term Management Direction 8 

Directives 9 

Commitments Made Through Interim Direction 9 

Consultation with Regulatory Agencies 9 

Management Priorities 10 

Public Participation 10 

Notice of Intent 10 

Scoping Meetings 10 

Other Meetings, Briefings, Consultations U 

Coordination with Other Governments 11 

Federal and State Agencies 11 

Tribal Governments 11 

County Governments U 

What's Next in the Planning Process 12 

Planning Issues 12 

Issue 1: In what condition should ecosystems be maintained? 13 

Issue 2: To what degree, and under what circumstances should restoration be 

active (with human intervention) or passive (letting nature take its course)? 13 

Issue 3: What emphasis will be assigned when trade-offs are necessary among 

resources, species, land areas, and uses? 13 

Issue 4: To wlmt degree will ecosystem-based management support economic 

and/or social needs of people, cultures, and communities? 14 

Issue 5: How will ecosystem-based management incorporate the interactions of 

disturbance processes across landscapes? 14 

Issue 6: What types of opportunities will be available for cultural, recreational, and 

aesthetic experiences? 14 

Issue 7: How will ecosystem-based managemeitt contribute to meeting treaty and 
trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes? 15 



Issues, Concerns, and Other Planning Considerations Not Addressed in the Alternatives 15 

Decisions To Be Made 16 

Planning Considerations 16 

The Nature of Planning 16 

The Status of Planning 17 

Implications for Multiple Administrative Units 18 

The Scientific Assessment and EIS Process 18 

WlwtHas Been Accomplished to Date 18 

What is Yet to be Accomplished 19 

New Information and the Adaptability of Plans 19 

Decisions That Will Be Made Through This Planning Process 19 

Northwest Forest Plan 21 

Interim Direction 21 

Lands Affected by the Decision 21 

Factors Affecting Selection and Implementation of an Alternative 21 

Purpose and Need 21 

Scale of Decision 21 

Valid Existing Rights 21 

Decision Space 23 

Other Planning Efforts (Federal, State,Tribal, and Local) 23 

Relationship to Federal, State, and Local Environmental Protection Laws 23 

Federal Trust Responsibilities to Indian Tribes 24 

Water Rights and Adjudications 24 

Mitigation Measures 24 

Recovery Plans 24 

Funding 25 

Staffing Levels 25 

Implementation Feasibility 25 

Determination of Significance of Amendment Under the National Forest Management Act 25 

Regional Guides 25 

Significant Amendments to Forest Plans 25 

Suitable Timber Acres 26 

Allowable Sale Quantity 26 

Roadless Areas 26 

Manageinent Indicator Species 26 

Public Involvement 26 

Disclosure 26 

Planning Criteria Under BLM Planning Regulations 26 

Chapter 2 - Affected Environment 

Introduction ^ 

Purpose and Organization of This Chapter 1 

Flistorical Conditions 4 

Positive Ecological Trends 4 

Ecological Reporting Units, Hydrologic Unit Codes, and Clusters 6 

Ecological Reporting Units 6 

Hydrologic Unit Codes 6 

Clusters 6 

Humans and Land Management: Snapshots in Time 10 

First Settlement (pre-1800s) 10 

Pioneer Settlement (1800s) 10 

Recognizing Limits (early to mid-1900s) 2 

Cormnodity Production (mid-1900s) 12 

Environmental Awareness (late 1900s) 12 

Physical Environment 14 






Introduction 14 

Geology and Physiography 15 

Geologic Processes, Functions, andPatterns 25 

Geology of Ecological Reporting Units 15 

Northern Cascades (ERUl) 15 

Southern Cascades and Upper Klaniath (ERUs 2 and 3) 15 

Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) 18 

Columbia Plateau (ERUS) IS 

Blue Mountains (ERU 6) 18 

Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) 18 

Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10) 18 

Soils and Soil Productivity 18 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 18 

Soil Processes, Functions, and Patterns 19 

Current Conditions 22 

Soils of Ecological Reporting Units 22 

Northern Cascades and Southern Cascades (ERUs land 2) 23 

Upper Klamath (ERU 3) 23 

Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) 23 

Columbia Plateau (EKU 5) 23 

Blue Mountains (ERU 6) 23 

Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU7) 23 

bmjhee Uplands (ERU 10) 23 

Climate 23 

Precipitation and Temperature 23 

Drought 24 

Climate Change 24 

Air Quality 26 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 26 

Presettlement Conditions 26 

Overview of the Clean Air Act 26 

Protection of National Ambient Air Quality Standards 2S 

Conformity with State Implementation Plans 29 

Protection of Visibility in Class I Areas 29 

Managing Emissions From Prescribed Fire 29 

Tracking Emissions 30 

Monitoring Air Quality 30 

Air Quality Tradeoffs Between Prescribed Fire and Wildfire Emissions 31 

Terrestrial Ecosystems 32 

Introduction 32 

Change on the Landscape 34 

Vegetation and Wildlife Classifications 38 

Vegetation 38 

Plants and Allies: Fungi, Lichens, Bryophytes, and Vascular Plants 38 

Fungi 39 

Lichens 39 

Bryophytes 40 

Vascular Plants 40 

Noxious Weeds 41 

Wildlife 41 

Natural Areas 42 

Forestlands 44 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 45 

Introduction 45 

Forested Potential Vegetation Groups 45 

Succession and Disturbance 46 

Terrestrial Wildlife Species and Habitats €0 



W,"V 



Dry Forest Potential Vegetation Group 63 

Current Distribution S3 

Composition and Structure (3 

Historical Conditions S7 

Current Conditions and Trends: Departures in Composition, Structure, and 

Disturbance Processes arid Patterns 68 

Fire Regimes 68 

Human Disturbance 68 

Insects and Disease sg 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Dry Forests 72 

Invertebrates 72 

Amphibians 72 

Reptiles 72 

Birds 73 

Mammals 73 

Effects of Vegetation Changes on Terrestrial Species, Habitats, and Functions 73 

General 74 

Animals 74 

Birds 74 

Invertebrates 74 

Amphibians 75 

Reptiles 75 

Mammals 75 

Moist Forest Potential Vegetation Group 75 

Current Distribution 75 

Composition and Structure 7S 

Historical Conditions 7S 

Insects and Disease 77 

Current Conditions and Trends: Departures in Composition, Structure, and 

Disturbance Processes and Patterns 77 

Fire Regimes 77 

Human Disturbance 77 

Insects and Disease 80 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Moist Forests 80 

Invertebrates SO 

Amphibians 81 

Reptiles 81 

Birds 81 

Mammals 81 

Effects of Vegetation Changes on Terrestrial Species, Habitats, and Functions 81 

Invertebrates 81 

Amphibians 82 

Birds 82 

Animals 82 

Mammals 82 

Cold Forest Potential Vegetation Group 82 

Current Distribution 82 

Composition and Structure 83 

Historical Conditions 83 

Current Conditions and Trends: Departures in Composition and Structure and 

Disturbance Processes and Patterns 84 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Cold Forests 84 

Invertebrates 84 

Amphibians and Reptiles S5 

Birds 85 

Mammals 85 






Effects of Vegetation Changes on Terrestrial Species, Habitats, and Functions 85 

Summary of Changes from Historical to Current 88 

Rangelands 89 

Summary of Conditions and Trends W 

Introduction 99 

Dry Grass Potential Vegetation Group 91 

Distribution 91 

Composition and Structure 91 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Dry Grasslands 95 

Invertebrates ^ 

Amphibians % 

Reptiles % 

Birds % 

Mammals 97 

Dry Shrub Potential Vegetation Group 98 

Distribution 98 

Composition and Structure 98 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Dry and Cool Shrublands 99 

Amphibians ICO 

Birds 200 

Mammals 103 

Cool Shrub Potential Vegetation Group 101 

Distribution 101 

Composition and Structure 101 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Cool Shrublands 101 

Disturbance Processes and Patterns 202 

Livestock Grazing 202 

Changes in Fire REgimes 204 

Noxious Weeds, Exotics, and Introduced Forage Grasses 204 

Noxious Weeds 204 

Exotic Vegetation 206 

Introduced Forage Grasses 220 

Climate and Disturbance Stresses 220 

Other Factors Influencing Rangeland Health 222 

Western Juniper and Other Woody Species Expansion and Density Concerns 222 

Microbiotic Crusts: Ecology and Implications for Rangeland Management 222 

Livestock and Big Game Interactions 224 

Summary of Changes from Historical to Current 225 

Aquatic Ecosystems 226 

Introduction 227 

Hydrology and Watershed Processes 227 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 227 

Streams, Rivers, and Lakes 228 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 118 

Water Quantity and Quality 118 

Water Quantity 118 

Water Quality 222 

Stream Channels 222 

Stream Channel Processes, Functions, and Patterms 222 

Current Conditions 223 

Lakes 226 

Riparian Areas and Wetlands 226 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 226 

Riparian and Wetland Processes, Functions, and Patterns 227 

Physical Processes in Riparian Areas and Wetlands 127 

Riparian and Wetland Vegetation 229 

Riparian Habitat and Terrestrial Species 129 



Current Conditions of Riiparian Areas and 'Wetlands 131 

Riparian Areas 131 

Wetlands 132 

Fish 133 

Summan/ of Conditions and Trends 133 

Current Conditions 134 

Native Fish Species 234 

Introduced Species 136 

Salmonids 140 

Historical Overview 140 

Key Salmonids 242 

BullTrout 242 

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout 243 

Westslope Cutthroat Trout 243 

RedbandTrout ("Resident" and "Resident-Interior") 245 

Steelhead 250 

Chinook Salmon 253 

Sockeye Salmon 260 

Native Species Richness, and Biotic and Genetic Integrity 260 

Species Richness 262 

Biotic Integrity 262 

Genetic Integrity 262 

Sub-basin Categories 264 

Category 1 Sub-basins 264 

Category 2 Sub-basins 265 

Category 3 Sub-basins 265 

Human Uses and Values 267 

Summary of Conditions of Trends 267 

Introduction 168 

The Analytical Context for Human Uses and Values 26S 

Economic and Social Systems 168 

Population 269 

Clwracterization 269 

Trends 272 

Wildland/Urban Interface 272 

Land Ownership and Uses 272 

Recreation and Scenery 272 

Supply of Recreation 272 

Recreation Use 273 

Scenery 276 

Issues in Recreation Supply and Management 276 

Cultural Resources 277 

Livestock Grazing 277 

Seasonal Forage Use 2S0 

Grazing Fees 180 

Commercial Timber Harvest 180 

Regional Trends 180 

Timber Supply by County 182 

Other Forest Products 182 

Mineral and Energy Resources 282 

Geothermal 183 

Oil and Gas 183 

Coal 183 

Economic Value 183 

Utility Corridors 184 

Road System 184 

Roadlnventory 284 



Construction and Maintenance Costs 184 

Local, Regional, and National Use 185 

Generating Wealth versus Generating Value 185 

Payments to Local Government 186 

Economic Importance of Agency Timber and Forage to Counties 186 

Overview of Employment 188 

Regional Employment 188 

Employment Associated with Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands 188 

Manufacturing 188 

Agricidtural Services and Farm Employment 189 

Minerals 189 

Recreation 189 

Forest Service and BLM Employment 189 

Employment and Wages 189 

Communities 193 

Conventional Notions of Community Stability 194 

Timber Dependency 197 

Predictability of Supply and Processing of National Forest Timber 198 

Limited Predictability 198 

Expectations of Timber Supply 198 

Timber Projections for the Eastside Draft EIS 198 

Federal Policy and Actions Supporting Community Stability 199 

Rangelands Administered by the BLM 199 

Forest Service Timber Policy and Communities 199 

Even Flow and Timber Supply 200 

Results of Even-Flow Policy 200 

Community Resiliency 201 

Population arid Community Resiliency 201 

Larger Population 201 

Smaller Population 201 

Population Growth or Decline 202 

Economic Diversity 202 

County and Regional Economic Diversity 202 

Community Economic Diversity 202 

Perceptions of Economic Diversity 202 

Importance of Scale in Measuring Economic Diversity 204 

Community Social and Cultural Attributes 204 

Amenity Setting 204 

Quality of Life 205 

Attitudes, Beliefs, and Values 205 

Sense of Place 207 

Role of the Public 207 

American Indians 209 

Summary of Conditons and Trends 2(B 

Introduction 209 

Cultures 210 

Changesin Uses of and Relationships with the Land 214 

Legal Agreements 216 

Federal Trust Responsibility 216 

Otlier Agreements 217 

Tribal Governments 218 

Current Federal Agency Relations 218 

American Indian Issues 219 

Trust Obligation 219 

Consultation/Participation 220 

Community Well-being 220 






Sensitive Tribal Species 220 

Restoration 220 

Place Attachment 220 

Harvestability 220 

Cultural Resource and Practices Protection 222 

Accountability 222 

Consultation 222 

Integrated Summary of Porestland.Rangeland, and Aquatic Integrity 226 

Introduction 226 

Measuring Integrity 227 

Landscape Features 227 

Fish Communities 227 

Terrestrial Habitat Departures 228 

TheClusters 228 

Forest Clusters 234 

Forest Cluster 1 234 

Forest Cluster 2 2M 

Forest Cluster 3 235 

Forest Cluster 4 235 

Forest Cluster 5 235 

Forest Cluster 6 235 

Range Clusters 236 

Range Cluster 1 ~ juniper Woodlands 236 

Range Cluster 2 ~ High Integrity Dry Forest Ranges 236 

Range Cluster 3 ~ Moderate Integrity Dry Forest Ranges 238 

Range Cluster 4 ~ Columbia Shrub Steppe/Croplands 238 

Range Cluster 5 ~ Moderate Integrity Upland Shrublands 239 

Range Cluster 6 -Low Integrity Upland Shrublands 239 

Composite Ecological Integrity 239 

Chapter 3 - Alternatives 

Introduction 1 

Alternatives Considered But Eliminated From Detailed Study 1 

Development of Alternatives Considered in Detail 1 

Mitigation....'. 2 

Description of the Alternatives 3 

Management Emplwsis 4 

Alternative! 6 

Theme 6 

Design of Alternative! 6 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 7 

Resource Management 7 

Forestland Tl 

Rangeland 12 

Disturbances 2 

Wildlife Habitat 12 

Soil and Water 12 

Riparian Areas 22 

Social and Economics 22 

Alternative 2 23 

Tlwne 23 

Design of Alternative 2 24 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 24 

Features Common to Alternatives 3 through? !8 

Goals !8 









Desired Range of Future Conditions 18 

Soils 18 

Forestland 18 

Terrestrial Species Habitats 19 

Rangeland 19 

Aquatic Ecosystems and Riparian Areas 20 

HumanUses 20 

American Indians 21 

Alternatives 27 

Theme 21 

Design of Alternative 3 21 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 22 

Terrestrial Ecosystems ~ Forestlands 22 

Terrestrial Ecosystems ~ Rangelands 23 

Aquatic Ecosystems 27 

Alternative 4 28 

Theme 2B 

Design of Alternative 4: 29 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 29 

Terrestrial Ecosystems- Forestlands 29 

Terrestrial Ecosystems ~ Rangelands 32 

Aquatic Ecosystems 34 

Alternatives 3S 

Theme 3S 

Design of Alternative 5 3B 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 36 

Terrestrial Ecosystems ~ Forestlands 36 

Terrestrial Ecosystems ~ Rangelands 43 

Aquatic Ecosystems 44^ 

Alternatives 45 

Tlieme 45 

Desigri of Alternative 6 46 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 47 

Alternative? 47 

Theme ^ 

Design of Alternative? 50 

Desired Range of Future Conditions 50 

Terrestrial Ecosystems- Forestlands gO 

Terrestrial Ecosystems - Rangelands 57 

Aquatic Ecosystems 58 

Objectives and Standards 59 

Definitions , 59 

Alternative! 59 

Physical Environments 59 

Terrestrial Ecosystems 60 

Aquatic Ecosystems 63 

Human Uses and Values 63 

Implementation, Adaptive Management, and Monitoring 65 

Northivest Forest Plan 65 

Aquatic Conservation Strategy 65 

Congressional Designations 68 

Late-successional Reserves 68 

Managed Late-successional Reserves 89 

Adaptive Management Areas 69 

Matrix Lands 69 

Federal Trust Responsibilities to Indian Tribes 70 



Alternative 2 71 

Physical Environment 71 

Terrestrial Ecosystems 71 

Aquatic Ecosystems 73 

Ecosystem Analysis 77 

Human Uses and Values 77 

Adaptive Management, Implementation, and Monitoring 77 

Alternatives 3 through 7 77 

Landscape Approach 77 

Scale of Analysis 78 

Process versus Prescriptive/Interim versus Perfnanent Standards 78 

Interpretation of Activity Tables 78 

Roads Standards 78 

Relationships of Alternatives 1 and! to Table 3-5 79 

Navigating Table 3-5 79 

Index to Table 3-5 80 

Comparison of Alternatives 181 

Differences Betiveen the Alternatives 182 

Comparison of the Effects of Alternatives 184: 

Effects on Forest Health and NaturalDisturbance Processes 197 

Effects on Rangeland Health and Natural Disturbance Processes 198 

Effects on Acjuatic and Riparian Health 199 

Effects on Community Vitality and Resiliency 203 

Effects on Quality of Life for Project Area Residents 203 

A User's Guide to the "Action" Alternatives 205 

Rangelands 205 

Forestlands 209 

Chapter 4 - Environmental Consequences 

Introduction 1 

Hoiv the Chapter is Organized 1 

Relationship to the Science Integration Team's Evaluation of Alternatives 1 

How the Effects of the Alternatives Were Estimated 2 

Source and Nature of Data and Databases 2 

Principal Analytical Techniques 3 

Incomplete and Unavailable Information 3 

Requirements, Conclusions 3 

Scale of Decision 4 

Subsequent Analysis Before Projects 4 

Monitoring and Reviezu 4 

Cumulative Effects 5 

Cumulative Effects on Federal Lands 5 

Cumulative Effects on Non-Federal Land 6 

Cumulative Effects from Non-Federal Actions 6 

Cumulative Effects in Subsequent Environmental Analysis 7 

Other Enviromnerital Corisequences 7 

Assumptions 7 

Effects of the Alternatives on Physical Aspects of the Ecosystem 9 

Soils 9 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 9 

Assumptions 9 

Causes of the Effects of Each Alternative on Soils 10 

Methodology: Hoiu Effects on Soils Were Estimated 10 

Effects of the Alternatives on Soil Productivity a7^d Function 11 

Effects on Soil Disturbance 11 

Levels of Woody Material 13 



Vegetation Conditions Trending Towards Historical Range of Variability 15 

Watershed Restoration and Road Closures that Restore Soil and Hydrologic Function 16 

Cumulative Effects on Soil Productivity 17 

Air Quality 18 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 18 

Assumptions 18 

Visuals and Smoke 18 

Other Pollutants 18 

Causes of the Effects of Each Alternative on Air Quality 19 

Methodology: Hoio Effects on Air Quality luere Estimated 19 

Prescribed Fire Scenarios 19 

Wildfire Scenarios 20 

Use of Models 21 

Effects of the Alternatives on Air Quality 23 

Criteria Pollutants 23 

Predicted Air Quality Impacts 23 

Visibility 25 

Conclusions 27 

Effects of the Alternatives on Terrestrial Aspects of the Ecosystem 29 

Forestlands 29 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 29 

Assumptions 29 

Limitations 35 

Causesof the Effects of Each Alternative on Forestlands 35 

Trends 35 

Management Actions 36 

Methodology: Hoiv Effects on Forestlands were Estimated 36 

Simulation Strategies 36 

Fire, Insect and Disease Disturbance Regimes 37 

Effects of the Alternatives on Forestlands 37 

Introduction 37 

Effects on Forest Distribution, Composition, and Structure 38 

Effects on Successional and Disturbance Regimes in Forest Cotmnimities 51 

Cumulative Effects 65 

Rangelands 75 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 75 

Assumptions 75 

Rangeland Vegetation 75 

Noxious Weeds 77 

Causes of the Effects of Each Alternative on Rangelands 78 

Methodology: Hoxv Effects on Rangelands were Estimated 78 

Effects of the Alternatives on Rangelands 79 

Introduction 79 

Effects on Rangeland Distribution, Co7nposition, and Structure 80 

Effects on Major Factors Influencing Rangelands 85 

Effects on Noxious Weeds, Exotics, and Introduced Forage Grasses 87 

Effects on Climate and Disturbance Stresses 94 

Effects on Other Factors Affecting Rangeland Health 94 

Terrestrial Species 96 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions % 

Assumptions % 

Limitations 97 

Causes of the Effects of Each Alternative on Terrestrial Species Habitats or Populations 98 

Methodology: How Terrestrial Species xuere Evaluated by the Science Integration Team 99 

Methods for Assessing Species and Habitat Outcoyries for Alternatives 99 

EIS Team Application of Science Integration Team Information 104 



:&s^^^^^:EmS£^::M 



Ejfectsof the Alternatives on Terrestrial Species 104 

General Trends: Terrestrial Species and Habitats At Risk lOi 

Species at Risk Winch Shmv Little Change in Outconie Class by Alternative 110 

Results from Analysis of Species Groups 122 

Cumulative Effects 230 

Threatened or Endangered Species 230 

Mid-Seral Multi-Story Forest 230 

Aquatic Priority Areas in Alternative 5 230 

Fire Occurrence and Habitat Stability in Alternative 7 230 

Noxious Weeds and Exotic Plants 132 

Known Bottlenecks, Fragmentation, and Corridors 232 

Effects of the Alternatives on Aquatic Aspects of the Ecosystem 232 

Aquatic Systems 232 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 232 

Assumptions 232 

Causesof the Effects of Each Alternative on Aquatic Ecosystems 235 

Methodology: How Effects on Aquatic Systems were Estimated by the Science Integration Team 235 

Qualitative Evaluation of the Overall Level of Protection, Maintenance, or Restoration of 

Aquatic and Riparian Habitats 235 

Quantitative and Qualitative Evaluation of Expected Changes in the Distribution and 

Status of Key Salmonid Species 235 

Evaluation of Narrozvly Distributed Endemic or Sensitive Taxa 236 

EISTeam Application of SIT Information 236 

Effects of the Alternatives on Aquatic Systems 237 

Effects on Hydrology , Watershed Processes, and Riparian Areas and Wetlands 237 

Aquatic Species 243 

Introduced Fish Species 243 

Native Fish Species 244 

Cumulative Effects 253 

Effects of the Alternatives on Landscape Health 256 

Introduction 256 

Variables and Predicted Results 257 

Summary 262 

Effects of the Alternatives on Human Uses and Values 264 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 264 

Assumptions 264 

Causesof the Effects on Human Uses and Values 265 

Methodology: Hozv Effects Were Estimated 265 

Economics Science Evaluation 265 

Social Science Evaluation 266 

EIS Team Effects Evaluation 166 

Effects on Annual Level of Goods and Services 267 

Benefits Expected from Alternatives 267 

Measured Benefits 267 

Unmeasured Benefits 267 

Calculating Outputs 267 

Effects on Permitted Mineral and Energy Operations 275 

Effects on Utility Corridors 276 

Effects on Long-Term Wildfire Management and Post-Fire Recovery Costs 276 

Effectsof the Alternatives on National Forest System Inventoried Roadless Areas 277 

Effects of Each Alternative on Community Vitality and Resiliency 277 

EmploymeiTt 275 

Economically Vulnerable Areas 279 

Investing in Vidnerable Areas or the Wildland-Urban Interface 181 

Areas with High Risk at the Wildland-Urban Interface 181 

Rate of Implementation 282 









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Public Particiption and Collaboration 186 

Effect on Quality of Life of Project Area Residents 187 

Understanding Quality of Life 187 

Different Viewpoints on Quality of Life 188 

Individuals 188 

County Government 189 

Risk and Uncertainty 190 

Long-Term Predictability 190 

Short-Term Predictability 190 

Effects of the Alternatives on American Indians 191 

Summary of Key Effects and Conclusions 191 

Assumptions 191 

Causes of Effects on American Indians/Tribes 192 

Methodology: How Effects on American Indians/Tribes were Estimated 193 

Evaluation Methods for Habitat Trends 193 

Estimation of Effects on American Indians/Tribes 194 

Effects of the Alternatives on American Indians/Tribes 194 

Agency-Tribal Relations 195 

CulturalUses 197 

Water-Land Well-Being 198 

Water 199 

Hydrologic Functions 199 

Soil 199 

Air 200 

Habitats and Species Groupings ^00 

Aquatic Species ^00 

Terrestrial Animals and Plants 201 

Landscape Ecology 204 

CulturalUses 204 

Composite Ecological Integrity Trends 205 

Social Well-Being 206 

Composite Ecological Integrity 208 

Effects of the Alternatives on Ecological Integrity and Social/Economic Resiliency 210 

Ecological Integrity 210 

Current 210 

Future Trends 210 

Methodology 210 

Residts 2n 

Social/Economic Resiliency 211 

Current 212 

FutureTrends 212 

Methodology 212 

Results 212 

Managing Multiple Risks 213 

Current 213 

FutureTrends 213 

Cost Analysis 215 

Assumptions 215 

Methodology 215 

Results ^1^ 

Sensitivity Analysis 217 

Chapter 5 - Consultation and Coordination 

List of Preparers 1 

Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project Leadership Team 1 

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Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project EIS Team Document Preparers 2 

Former EastsideEIS Team Members 4 

Science Integration Team 7 

Aquatics 7 

Economics g 

Landscape Ecology g 

Social g 

Spatial g 

Terrestrial g 

Other Contributors 20 

Upper Columbia River Basin EIS Team 20 

Senior Level Team jj 

Eastside Forest Supervisors, Forest Service 22 

Eastside District Managers, ELM 21 

Eastside Forest Service and BLM Liaison 22 

Eastside Implementation Team 22 

Additional Support 22 

Administrative Support 22 

Geographic Information System Mapping Support 23 

Document Production 23 

Natural Resource Specialist 23 

Tribal Liaison Group 23 

Communications Team Support 24 

Project Legal Team 24 

Agencies and Organizations Contacted 24 

Federal Agencies 24 

Federal/State Elected Representatives 24 

Native American Governments and Organizations 25 

State Agencies 25 

Local Governments and Other Government Bodies 25 

Resource Advisory Councils 26 

Province Advisory Committees 25 

Schools and Universities 26 

Interested Groups, Businesses, and Organizations 27 



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Figures 



Chapter 1 

No Figures 

Chapter 2 

Figure2-1. Hydrologic Hierarchy g 

Figure!-!. Geologic Time Scale p 

Figure!-3. Nitrogen Cycle 7q 

Figure !-4. Carbon Cycle 21 

Figure 2-5. Forested Potential Vegetation Groups ^ 

Figure !-6. Fire Types ^ 

Figure!-?. Forest Successional Stages 52 

Figure2-8. Current/Historical Serai Stages 5g 

Figure2-9. Shade Tolerajtce vs. Intolerance Dry/Moist/Cold Forest PVG 57 

Figurel-lO. Energy Flow -Terrestrial Food Chain 53 

Figure!-!!. Fire Regimes/Patterns 55 

Figure!-!!. Sagebrush Steppe Succession % 

Figure !-!3. Hydrologic Cycle 229 

Figure!-!4. Steep Mountain Headwaters J22 

Figure!-!5. Results of Repeat Surveys 224 

Figure!-!6. Pool Frequency 225 

Figure!-!?. Forested and RangelandClwracteristics 225 

Figure !-!8. Future Population Grozvth in Project Area 272 

Figure2-!9. Timber Harvest by Owner 251 

Figure !-!0. Seasonal Rounds 215 

Chapter 3 

No Figures 

Chapter 4 

Figure4~!. Forestland: Change in Soil Disturbance from Current 22 

Figurei-2. Rangeland: Change in Soil Disturbance from Current 22 

Figure 4-3. Lower Montane Early Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year ! 00, 

Project Area 4g 

Figure4-4. Lower Montane Mid-Seral Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 100, 

Project Area ,^ 

Figure4-5. Lower Montane Late Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year !00, 

Project Area 45 

Figure 4-6. Montane Mid-Seral Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 2 00, 

Project Area ^7 

Figure 4-?. Montane Early Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 100, 

Project Area 47 

Figure4-8. Subalpine Early Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 100, 

Project Area 47 

Figure 4-9. Montane Late Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year ! 00, 

Project Area ^ 

Figure4-!0. Subalpine Mid-Seral Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 100, 

Project Area ^ 

Figure 4-11. Subalpine Late Serai Forest Departures from Historical Ranges of Variability Year 1 00, 

Project Area 4g 

Figure 4-1!. Relative Disturbance from Wildfire and Prescribed Fire, Dry Forest, Eastside 

Planning Area g2 



Figure 4r-13. Upland Herb, Above/Within/Below Historical Range of Variability, Project Area 82 

Figure4-14. UplandShrub, Above/Within/Below Historical Range of Variability, Project Area 81 

Figure4~25. Upland Woodland, Above/Within/Beloio Historical Range of Variability, Project Area 82 

Figure 4-16. Cool Shrub Wildfire and Prescribed Fire, Eastside Planning Area 86 

Figure 4-1 7. Plants and Vertebrates, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 141 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 209 

Figure4-18. Plants and Vertebrates, Weighted Mean Outcorne Scores (1-5), 141 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 109 

Figure4-19. Sixty-two Species Projected to Retain a Weighted Mean Outcome Score of 4 or 5, Eastside 

Planning Area 109 

Figure 4-20. Two Species with the Greatest Magnitude of Change in Habitat Quality, Historical to 

Current, Eastside Planning Area 122 

Figure4-21. Vascular Plants, Change in Habitat froni Current Conditions, 22 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 123 

Figure 4-22. Vascular Plants, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 22 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 113 

Figure 4-23. Amphibians, Change in Habitat from Current Condition, 6 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 114 

Figure4-24. Amphibians, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 6 Species, Eastside Planning Area 114 

Figure4-25. Reptiles, Change in Habitat from Current Condition, 11 Species, Eastside Planning Area 115 

Figure4-26. Reptiles, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 11 Species, Eastside Planning Area 115 

Figure 4-27. Waterbirds and Shorebirds, Change in Habitat from Current Condition, 15 Species Groups, 

Eastside Planning Area 116 

Figure 4-28. Waterbirds and Shorebirds, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 15 Species Groups, 

Eastside Planning Area. 116 

Figure 4-29. Raptors and Gamebirds, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 20 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 217 

Figure 4-30. Raptors and Gamebirds, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1 -5), 20 Species, Eastside 

Planning Area 117 

Figure4-31. Woodpeckers, Nuthaches, and Swifts, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 

12 Species, Eastside Planning Area 229 

Figure 4-32. Woodpeckers, Nuthatches, and Swifts, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 12 Species, 

Eastside Planning Area 229 

Figure4-33. Forest Birds, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 12 Species, Eastside Planning Area 220 

Figure4-34. Forest Birds, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 12 Species, Eastside Planning Area 220 

Figure4-35. Crass/Shrub Birds, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 12 Species, Eastside Planning Area 221 

Figure4-36. Grass/Shrub Birds, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 12 Species, Eastside Planning Area 222 

Figure 4-37. Woodland Birds, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 4 Species, Eastside Planning Area 123 

Figure4-38. Woodland Birds, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 4 Species, Eastside Planning Area 223 

Figure4-39. Riparian Birds, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 7 Species, Eastside Planning Area 224 

Figure4-40. Riparian Birds, WeightedMean Outcome Scores (1-5), 7 Species, Eastside Planning Area 224 

Figure4-41. Bats and Small Mammals, Change in Habitat from Current Condition, 8 Bat and 3 Mammal 

Species, Eastside Planning Area 125 

Figure4-42. Bats and Small Mammals, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 8 Bat and 3 Mammal 

Species, Eastside Planning Area 125 

Figure4-43. Carnivores, Change in Habitat from Current Conditions, 6 Species, Eastside Planning Area 127 

Figure4-44. Carnivores, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 6 Species, Eastside Plaiming Area 227 

Figure4-45. Ungulates, Changes in Habitat from Current Conditions, 3 Species, Eastside Planning Area 128 

Figure 4-46. Ungulates, Weighted Mean Outcome Scores (1-5), 3 Species, Eastside Planning Area 128 

Figure 4-47. Threatened or Endangered Plant Species, Mean Outcome Score, Eastside Planning Area 229 

Figure4-48. Threatened or Endangered Wildlife Species, Mean Outcome Score, Eastside Planning Area 129 

Figure 4-49. Potential Acres of Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale, Eastside and UCRB Planning Areas 139 

Figure 4-50. Estimated Acres of Forest Service- and BLM-administered Lands Within Riparian 

Conservation Areas (RC As), Eastside and UCRB Planning Areas 141 

Figure4-51. Socioeconomic Resiliei^cy, Percent of Population, Project Area 2S2 

Figure4-52. County Socioeconomic Resiliency , Number of Countiesby Rating, Project Area 2S2 



Figure4-53. Tmber Volume Offered, Historical and by Alternative, Eastside Planning Area 237 

Figure4-54. Cotnposite Ecological Integrity Trends, Project Area ' 212 

Figure4'55. Risks Associated luith Human and Ecological Interactions, Project Area 214 

Figure 4-56. Alternatives and Risks, Project Area 214 






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Maps 



Chapter 1 

Map 1-1. BLM/FS Administered Lands - Project Area 2 

Map 1-2. BLM/FS Administered Lands - Planning Area 3 

Map 1-3. Interim Management Strategies and Northivest Forest Plan 22 

Chapter 2 

Map 2-1. Other Federal Agency-Administered Lands 3 

Map 2-2. Topography 26 

Map 2-3. Annual Precipitation 25 

Map2-4. Air Quality Class 1 Airsheds and PMIO Non-attainment Areas 27 

Map2-5. Terrestrial Vertebrates Threatened or Endangered 33 

Map 2-6. Rarity/Endemism and Biodiversity Hot Spots 35 

Map 2-7. Disjunct Vertebrate Species 36 

Map2-8. Amphibians of the Columbia Gorge 37 

Map2-9. Forest Potential Vegetation Groups: Historical 48 

Map 2-10. Forest Potential Vegetation Groups: Current 49 

Map2-ll. Key Linkages in Terrestrial Habitats 59 

Map 2-12. Marbled Murrelet Zones 62 

Map 2-13. Dry Forest Distribution: Historical 64 

Map2-14. Dry Forest Distribution: Current ^ 

Map2-15. Fire Regime Severity: Historical 70 

Map 2-16. Fire Regiyne Severity: Current 71 

Map 2-17. Moist Forest Distribution: Historical 78 

Map 2-18. Moist Forest Distribution: Current 79 

Map2-19. Cold Forest Distribution: Historical 86 

Map 2-20. Cold Forest Distribution: Current 87 

Map2-21. Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups: Historical 92 

Map2-22. Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups: Current 93 

Map2-23. Distribution of Western Juniper in Eastern Oregon Counties 123 

Map 2-24. Narrow Endemic Fish Species 135 

Map 2-25. Major Dams 242 

Map 2-26. Key Salmonid Presence: Historical 244 

Map 2-27. Key Sahnonid Presence: Current 245 

Map2-28. Distribution of Bidl Trout 246 

Map 2-29. Distribution of Westslope Cutthroat Trout 247 

Map 2-30. Distribution of Redband Trout 249 

Map 2-31. Distribution of Steelhead Trout 252 

Map 2-32. Distribution of Stream-Type Chinook Salmon 154 

Map 2-33. Distribution of Ocean-Type Chinook Salmon 155 

Map2-34. Distribution of Sockeye(Kokanee) Salmon 262 

Map 2-35. Key Salmonid Strongholds 263 

Map 2-36. Sub-basin Categories (Aquatic Integrity) 266 

Map2-37. Bureau of Economic Analysis Economic Subregions 270 

Map 2-38. Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 274 

Map 2-39. Landscape Themes 178 

Map 2-40. Scenic Integrity Classes 279 

Map 2-41. Importance of Timber and Forage to Eastside Counties 187 

Map 2-42. EconoJTiic Resiliency Ratings 203 

Map 2-43. Federally Recognized Tribes 222 

Map2-44. Hydrologic Integrity 229 

Map 2-45. Forest Integrity 231 



Map2-46. Range Integrity 231 

Map2-47. Forest Clusters 232 

Map2-48. Range Clusters 233 

Map2-49. Composite Ecological Integrity 241 



Chapter 3 

Map3-1. Alternative!- Management Emphasisfor Forest Clusters 8 

Map 3-2. Alternative 1 - Management Emphasis for Range Clusters 9 

Map 3-3. Alterfiatives 1 and 2 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale W 

Map 3-4. Alternative 2 -Management Emphasis for Forest Clusters 16 

Map 3-5. Alternative 2 - Management Emphasis for Range Clusters 17 

Map 3-6. Alternative 3 - Management Emphasis for Forest Clusters 24 

Map 3-7. Alternative 3 - Management Emphasis for Range Clusters 25 

Map 3-8. Alternative 3 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 26 

Map3-9. Alternative 4 - Management Emphasis for Forest Clusters 30 

Map 3-10. Alternative 4 -Management Emphasisfor Range Clusters 31 

Map 3-11. Alternative 4 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 33 

Map3-12. Alternative 5 -Management Emphasis for Forest Clusters 38 

Map 3-13. Alternative 5 - Management Emplwsis for Range Clusters 39 

Map 3-14. Alternative 5 - Primary and Secondary Priorities by Forest Cluster 40 

Map 3-15. AlternativeS-Primary and Secondary Priorities by Range Cluster 42 

Map 3-16. Alternative 5 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 42 

Map 3-17. Alternative 6 -Management Emphasisfor Forest Clusters 48 

Map3-18. Alternative 6 - Management Emphasis for Range Clusters 49 

Map3-18a. Alternative 6 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 51 

h/]ap3-19. Alternative? -Preliminary Reserves 52 

Map 3-20. Alternative 7 - Managemeiit Emphasis for Forest Clusters 54 

Map 3-21. Alternative 7 - Manageinent Empliasis for Range Clusters 55 

Map 3-22. Alternative 7 - Potential Areas for Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 56 



Chapter 4 

Map 4-1. Socio-economic Resiliency Ratings 183 

Map 4r-2. Counties Receiving Payments from Federal Timber Harvest in Excess of Payment in Lieu of 

Taxes,1992 ^. 184 

Map 4-3. Risk of Human Ecological Interaction 185 






Tables 



Chapter 1 

No Tables 

Chapter 2 

Table2-1. National Forests and BLM Districts Affected by the Eastside EIS 5 

Table 2-2. Eastside EIS Land Oiunership by ERU 7 

Table 2-3. Hierarchy of Watersheds 7 

Table 2-4. Visibility Comparison 30 

Table2-5. Snwke Emissions Produced by Wildfires and Prescribed Fires 31 

Table 2-6. Total Forest Service/BLM Acres by PVG within each ERU, in the Eastside EIS 

Planning Area 39 

Table 2-7. Forestland Vegetation Classifications 47 

Table2-8. Fire Terms and Definitions (Forestlands/Rangelands) 51 

Table 2-9. Structural Stages Often Used to Describe Clwnges in Forest Vegetation Structure Over Time 53 

Table2-10. Common Shade-Tolerant/Intolerant Tree Species in the Planning Area 53 

Table 2-11. Clmnges in Fire Regime in Forested PVGs for FS- and BLM-administerd Lands 55 

Table2-12. Numbers and Status of Terrestrial Wildlife Species in the Project Area 60 

Table 2-1 3. Rangeland Vegetation Classifications 91 

Table2-14. Rangeland Cover Types in the Project Area 106 

Table2-15. Noxious Weeds in the Project Area 107 

Table2-16. Riparian/Woodland Vegetation Classifications 130 

Table 2-17. Narroiu Endemic and Special Status Fish Species in the Project Area 137 

Table 2-18. Key Factors Influencing Status for Rare Fish in Eastern Oregon and Washington 138 

Table 2-19. Recreation Activity Days by Ecological Reporting Unit, Averaged 1991-1993 175 

Table 2-20. Scenic Integrity in the Project Area 176 

Table 2-21 . Relative Importance of Livestock Production in Agricultural Sales for Dominant 

Eastside BE A Regions 181 

Table 2-22. Factors Used to Score the Timber/Forage Importance Index for Eastern Oregon Counties 190 

Table 2-23. Factors Used to Score the Timber/Forage Importance Index for Eastern Washington Counties 191 

Table2-24. Economic Data for Eastern Oregon Counties (1992) 192 

Table 2-25. Economic Data for Eastern Washington Coimties (1992) 193 

Table 2-26., Einploymentby Industry in the Project Area 194 

Table 2-27. Employment Data for Eastern Oregon Counties 195 

Table2-28. Employment Data for Eastern Washington Counties 196 

Table 2-29. Affected Tribes and Bands in the Project Area 212 

Table 2-30. Species Poptdation Trends in the Project Area 223 

Table 2-31. Suminary of Forest Clusters (all lands) 237 

Table 2-32. Siunmary of Range Clusters (all lands) 240 



Chapter 3 

Table 3-1. Desired Serai Stages at the Landscape Level for Alternative 3 23 

Table 3-2. Desired Serai Stages at the Landscape Level for Alternative 4 32 

Table 3-3. Desired Serai Stages at the Landscape Level for Alternative 5 37 

Table 3-4. Desired Serai Stages at the Landscape Level for Alternative 7 53 

Table 3-5. Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 SO 

Table 3-6. Management Activities on Eastside Forestlands 177 

Table 3-7. Management Activities on Eastside Rangelands 179 

Table 3-8. Comparison of Alternatives by Theme 181 

Table 3-9. This table was deleted. 

Table 3-10. Comparison of Alternatives by Management Emphases 225 



Table 3-11. Comparison of Alternatives by Management Activih/ and Cluster 226 

Table3-12. Cluster Activity Level Asswnptions for All Action Alternatives 3 through 7 218 

Table 3-13. Siimniaiy of Activity Levels Matched luith Relevent Objectives 219 

Chapter 4 

Table 4-1. Soil Disturbance Acres, Eastside Planning Area 11 

Table4-2. Trends in Forest Vegetation, Eastside Planning Area 16 

Table4-3. Rangeland Vegetation Trends, Eastside Planning Area 17 

Table 4-4. Percentage of Prescribed Fires, Project Area 20 

Table 4-5. ProposedPrescribedBurning Activity, Project Area 24 

Tahle4-6. Summer Wildfires Scenario 7/27 through 8/3/94, Project Area 24 

Table 4-7. Summer Wildfires Scenario 8/6 through 8/13/94, Project Area 25 

Table 4-8. March Prescribed Burn Scenario, Project Area 25 

Table 4-9. May Prescribed Burn Scenario, Project Area 26 

Table4-10. October Prescribed Burn Scenario, Project Area 26 

Table4-ll. Summer Wildfire Scenarios, Project Area 26 

Table4-12. Rating of Alternatives to MeetLandscapelntegrity Assumption Criteria, Project Area 32 

Table 4-13. Crosswalk Between Forestland Poten tial Vegetation Groups and Terrestrial Communities 38 

Table 4-14. ChangeinTerrestrialForestCommunities, Eastside Planning Area 39 

Table 4-15. Percent of Forested Potential Vegetation Groups in Each Serai Stage, Eastside Planning Area 42 

Table 4-16. Desired Ranges of Future Conditions: Percent of Forested Potential Vegetation Groups in Each Serai 

Stage, Project Area 43 

Table 4-17. Landscape Level Patterns (Landscape Level RespoJtse andTrends), Project Area 49 

Table 4-18. Primary Successional Transitions in Lower Montane Early-seral Forests 52 

Table 4-19. Primary Successional Transitions in Lower Montane Mid-seral Forests 53 

Table 4-20. Primary Successional Transitions in Loiuer Montane Late-seral Multi-layer and Late-seral Single-layer 

Forests 54 

Table 4-21. Primary Successional Transitions in Montane Early-seral Forests 55 

Table 4-22. Primary Successional Transitions in Montane Mid-seral Forests 56 

Table 4-23. Primary Successional Transitions in Montane Late-seral Multi-Layer Forests 57 

Table 4-24. Primary Successional Transitions in Subalpine Early-seral Forests 58 

Table4-25. Net Acres Burned by Wildfire (Projected: Liistorical), Eastside Planning Area 59 

Table 4-26. Percentage of Dry Forest Burned by Surface and Croiun Fires, Eastside Plam^ing Area 59 

Table 4-27. Ratio of Dry Forest Burned by Surface and Crown Fires, Eastside Planning Area 60 

Table 4-28. Long-Term Change Index of Areas in High Insect and Disease Susceptibility Condition, Eastside 

Planning Area 64 

Table4-29. Percentof Area Affected by Direct Forest Disturbance, Eastside Planning Area 65 

Table 4-30. Ability of Disturbances to Resemble Natural Processes in Forestlands, Eastside Planning Area 66 

Table 4-31. Major Trends in Forestland Conditions, Eastside Planning Area 67 

Table4-32. Crosswalk Between Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups and Terrestrial Communities 80 

Table 4-33. Percentage ofTerrestrial Communities, Eastside Planning Area 81 

Table 4-34. Percent Change in Extent ofTerrestrial Communities, Eastside Planning Area 83 

Table 4-35. Ratio of Estimated Rangeland Net Acres Burned by Wildfire Each Decade to Estimated Historical 

Acres, Eastside Planning Area 86 

Table 4-36. Relative Ranking of Alternatives in Preventing Further Noxious Weed Infestations, Eastside 

Planning Area 89 

Table 4-37. Relative Trend of Rangeland Vegetation Toward or Away from Desired Conditions, Eastside 

Planning Area S9 

Table 4-38. Noxious Weeds Infesting Diy Grasslands, Eastside Planning Area 90 

Table4-39. Noxious Weeds Infesting Dry Shrublands, Eastside Planning Area 91 

Table 4-40. Noxious Weeds Infesting Cool Shrublands, Eastside Planning Area 92 

Table 4-41. Comparison of Habitat Outcome Class on Forest Service- and BLM-administered Lands, Eastside 

Planning Area 2Q5 

Table 4-42. Increasers ~ Species Habitats That Woidd hnprove, Eastside Planning Area 207 



Table 4-43. Species Habitats With a Favorable Outcome Changing to a "Less Favorable" Outcome, Eastside 

Planning Area iQg 

Table4--44. ProjectedLong-termEffectsof the Alternatives onBullTrout, Project Area 145 

Table4-45. Projected Long-term Effects of the Alternatives an Westslope Cutthroat Trout, Project Area 147 

Table 4-46. This table not included in Eastside EIS 

Table 4-47. Projected Long-term Effects of the Alternatives on Redband Trout, Project Area 148 

Table 4-48. Projected Long-term Effects of the Alternatives on Steelhead Trout and Stream-type Chinook Salmon, 

Project Area 150 

Table 4-49. Ranking of Action Alternatives for Ability to Achieve Landscape Health, Eastside Planning Area 158 

Table4-50. Measured Annual Benefitsfor the First Decade, Eastside Planning Area 168 

Table 4-51. Annual Restoration/Management Activities, Eastside Planning Area 169 

Table 4-52. Increase in Rangeland Restoration Activities Compared to Current, Eastside Planning Area 170 

Table 4-53. Clwnges in Scenic Integrity in the First Decade, Eastside Planning Area 172 

Table 4-54. Comparison of Planning Methods in Regard to PredictabiHty of Tiynber Outputs 174 

Table 4-55. Total Forested Land Area Encompassed by Riparian Conservation Areas, Eastside Planning Area 176 

Table 4-56. Socioeconojnic Resiliency Rating System, Project Area 179 

Table 4-57. Estimated Number of jobs Generated by Forest Service and ELM Activities, Eastside Planning Area 180 

Table 4-58. Isolated Timber Dependent Communities, Project Area 180 

Table 4-59. Area Requiring Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale in the First Decade, 

Eastside Planning Area 186 

Table 4-60. Relative Effects on Agei7cy-Tribal Relations, Project Area 296 

Table 4-61. Relative Effects on Cultural Uses, Project Area 198 

Table 4-62. Ecological Integrity Trends Relative to 17 Tribes' Interest Areas, Project Area 207 

Table 4-63. Ecological Integrity Trends Relative to 16 Tribes' Local Areas, Project Area 209 

Table 4-64. Ecological Integrity Trends Swrunation for 16 Basin Tribes' Local Areas, Project Area 209 

Table 4-65. Costsof Alternatives and Actual Obligatimtsfor Fiscal Year 1999, Eastside Planning Area 218 

Table 4-66. Relative Cost Sensitivity for the Alternatives, Eastside Planning Area 219 



Introduction 1 

Proposed Action 1 

Purpose of and Need For Action 1 

Affected Environment 3 

Description of Alternatives 10 

Environmental Consequences 23 



Purpose and Need 



Introduction 



The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project (ICBEMP), was initiated for 
the following reasons: ( 1) To identify existing or 
emerging resource problems that transcend 
jurisdictional boundaries, such as forest health 
problems and declining salmon populations, and 
to propose potential solutions that can best be 
addressed on a large scale; (2) To develop 
management strategies using a comprehensive, 
"big picture" approach, and disclose interrelated 
actions and cumulative effects using scientific 
methods in an open public process; (3) To 
address certain large-scale issues, such as 
species viability and biodiversity, from a larger 
context using an interagency team. This method 
is more cost-effective than each Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) District and National Forest 
conducting independent efforts; (4) To respond to 
President Clinton's July 1993 direction to 
develop a scientifically sound, ecosystem-based 
management strategy for lands administered by 
the BLM or Forest Service east of the Cascade 
Crest; and (5) To replace interim management 
strategies (PACFISH, Inland Native Fish Strategy, 
and Eastside Screens) with a consistent long- 
term management strategy. 

In response to these developments, management 
direction for Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands across parts of seven states 
in the Pacific Northwest was re-examined and two 
draft environmental impact statements (ElSs) 
were prepared for different portions of the area 
covered by the Interior Columbia River Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project, which is 
referred to as the project area. 

The planning area for theEostsideEIS includes 
land administered by the BLM or Forest Service 
in the interior Columbia River Basin, upper 
Klamath Basin, and northern Great Basin that lie 
east of the crest of the Cascade Range in Oregon 
and Washington. The Eastside EIS covers 
approximately 30 million acres of agency- 
administered lands. 

The planning area for the Upper Columbia River 
Basin EIS includes lands administered by the 
BLM or Forest Service in parts of Idaho, western 
Montana and Wyoming, and northern Nevada and 
Utah that are drained by the Columbia River 
system. The Upper Columbia River Basin EIS 
covers approximately 45 million acres of agency- 
administered lands. 



Proposed Action 



The Forest Service and BLM propose to develop 
and implement a coordinated, scientifically 
sound, ecosystem-based management strategy 
for lands they administer east of the crest of the 
Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington. 



Purpose of and 
Need For Action 



The purpose of the Proposed Action is to take a 
coordinated approach and to select a 
management strategy that best achieves a 
combination of the following: ( 1) Restore and 
maintain long-term ecosystem health and 
ecological integrity; (2) Support economic and/or 
social needs of people, cultures, and 
communities, and provide sustainable and 
predictable levels of products and services from 
lands administered by the Forest Service or BLM; 
(3) Update or amend if necessary current Forest 
Service and BLM management plans with long- 
term direction, primarily at regional and sub- 
regional levels; (4) Provide consistent direction to 
assist federal managers in making decisions at a 
landscape level within the context of broader 
ecological considerations; (5) Emphasize adaptive 
management over the long term; (6) Help restore 
and maintain habitats of plant and animal 
species, especially those of threatened, 
endangered, and candidate species. This would 
be done primarily by moving toward desired 
ranges of landscape conditions at a sub-regional 
and regional ecosystem basis; (7) Provide 
opportunities for cultural, recreational, and 
aesthetic experiences; (8) Provide long-term 
management direction to replace interim 
strategies (PACFISH, Eastside Screens, and 
Inland Native Fish Strategy); and, (9) Identify 
where current policy, regulation, or 
organizational structure may act as challenges to 
implementing the strategy or achieving desired 
future conditions. 

The alternative management strategies examined 
in detail in this EIS are based upon underlying 
needs for: 

♦ Restoration and maintenance of long-term 
ecosystem health and ecological integrity. 






♦ Supporting tiie economic and/or social 
needs of people, cultures, and 
communities, and providing sustainable 
and predictable levels of products and 
services from Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands. 



Issues 

Project scoping identified the issues and 
concerns people have about public lands 
managed by the BLM or Forest Service. They 
include: 

Issue 1 : In what condition should ecosystems 
be maintained? 

Issue 2 : To what degree , and under what 

circumstances should restoration be 
active (with human intervention) or 
passive (letting nature take its course)? 

Issue 3: What emphasis will be assigned when 
trade-offs are necessary among 
resources, species, land areas, and 
uses? 

Issue 4: To what degree will ecosystem-based 
management support economic and /or 
social needs of people, cultures, and 
communities? 

Issue 5: How will ecosystem-based 

management incorporate the 
interactions of disturbance processes 
across landscapes? 

Issue 6: What types of opportunities will be 

available for cultural, recreational, and 
aesthetic experiences? 

Issue 7: How will ecosystem-based 

management contribute to meeting 
treaty and trust responsibilities to 
American Indian tribes? 



Decisions to be Made 



The alternative selected for implementation will 
be documented in the Record(s) of Decision. 

Specific decisions involved in the selection of an 
alternative include adoption of: 

♦ Management goals; 

♦A desired range of future conditions 
expected over the next 50 to 100 years; 

♦ Objectives to be used in measuring 
progress toward attainment of the 
management goals; and 

♦ Standards, which are required actions to be 
used in designing and implementing future 
management actions. 

The Record(s) of Decision will do the following: 

♦ Describe certain management activity levels 
expected and priorities for management; 

♦ Provide a large-scale ecological context for 
Forest Service and BLM land-use plans; 

♦ Help clarify the relationship of agency 
activities to ecosystem capabilities; 

♦ Help develop realistic expectations for the 
production of economic and social benefits; 

♦ Focus on regional and sub-regional issues; 

♦ Describe a consistent aquatic conservation 
strategy; 

♦ Establish general direction for management 
of habitat for threatened or endangered 
species or for communities of species that 
require management across broad 
landscapes to assure viability. 

The Record(s) of Decision for the Eastside EIS are 
expected to amend current BLM and Forest 
Service land-use plans, the Forest Service 
regional guide, and BLM State Director guidance, 
where they conflict. 



Once the Final EIS has been completed, the 
responsible officials can decide to: 

♦ Select one of the alternatives analyzed 
within the Final EIS, including one of the No 
Action Alternatives (Alternative 1 or 2) ; or 

♦ Modify an alternative (for example, combine 
parts of different alternatives) , as long as the 
environmental consequences of the modified 
action have been analyzed within the Final EIS . 



Mii^^iEfwironmjsiii. 



J^ected 
Environment 



This summary focuses on portions of the 
environment that are directly related to 
conditions addressed in the alternatives and that 
portray, at a regional scale, the significant 
conditions and trends of most concern to the 
public, the Forest Service, and the BLM with 
regard to lands administered by these two 
agencies within the project area. 

Throughout this section, reference is made to 
"historical conditions" or the "historical range of 
variability". "Historical" in this EIS is intended to 
represent conditions and processes that are 
likely to have occurred prior to settlement of the 
project area by people of European descent. This 
time period is used only as a reference point to 
understand ecological processes and functions. 
In many cases it is neither desired, nor possible, 
to return to actual historical conditions. 



Ecological Reporting 
Units, Hydrologic Unit 
Codes, and Clusters 



field), were identified as part of the Interior 
Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project 
process. Subwatersheds are the basic 
characterization unit for the Integrated 
Assessment, and were the basic mapping unit for 
identifying ERUs. 

As a final step in the analysis the Science 
Integration Team integrated and regrouped initial 
information to evaluate the relative integrity of 
ecosystems in the project area. Forest, range, 
hydrologic, and aquatic systems were considered in 
deriving measures of integrity that attempted to 
answer three questions: 

( 1) Where are the areas of relatively high or 
low ecological integrity across the project 
area? 

(2) Where are the opportunities to improve 
integrity? and 

(3) What risks to Integrity exist from 
management actions? 

New groupings or "clusters" of sub-basins were 
mapped, identliying forestland and rangeland 
ecosystems with similar existing vegetation, 
ecological functions and processes, and 
opportunities and risks. The clusters are further 
explained in the Integrated Summary of 
Forestland, Rangeland, and Aquatic Integrity 
section, later in this Executive Summary. 



The project area was divided into 13 geographic 
areas called Ecological Reporting Units (ERUs) , 
which were identified by a process that integrated 
human uses and terrestrial and aquatic 
ecosystem data. They are the basis for reporting 
information on ( 1) the description of biophysical 
environments, (2) the characterization of 
ecological processes, (3) the discussion of past 
management activities and effects from these, 
and (4) the identification of landscape 
management opportunities. 

For the purposes of analyzing and summarizing 
much of the physiographic, aquatic, and 
vegetative information, a hierarchy of watersheds 
and watershed boundaries was identified by the 
Science Integration Team. For larger watersheds 
(regions, subregions, basins, and sub-basins), 
watershed boundaries and their numeric 
Hydrologic Unit Codes (Ist-field, 2nd-field, 3rd- 
field, and 4th-field, respectively) were adopted 
without change from those identified by the 
USGS. Smaller watersheds, referred to as 
watersheds (5th-field) and subwatersheds (6th- 



Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

The following sections summarize the existing 
conditions, and trends from historical conditions, 
for various elements of the ecosystem. 

Physical Environment 
Soils and Soil Productivity 

♦ Soil productivity across the project area is 
generally stable to declining Determination 
of the exact status of soil condition for any 
given area is difficult because of a lack of 
inventory and monitoring data. Generally, 
greater declines in soil quality and 
productivity are associated with greater 
intensities of vegetation management, 
reading, and livestock grazing. 



♦ Soil organic matter and coarse wood 
[woody material larger than three Inches) 
have been lost or have decreased as a 
result of displacement and removal of 
soils, and removal of whole trees and 
branches. 

♦There has been a loss of soil material 
from direct displacement of soils, as well 
as from surface and mass erosion. 
Erosion can result from changed water 
runoff patterns from increased bare soil 
exposure, compaction, and concentration 
of water from roads. 

♦ Changes in the physical properties of 
soils have occurred in conjunction with 
activities that increase bulk density 
through compaction. These changes have 
largely resulted in impaired soil 
processes and function, such as 
decreased porosity and infiltration, and 
increased surface erosion. 

♦ In rangelands soils, the function and 
development of microbiotic crusts have 
been reduced in areas where surface- 
disturbing activities have been high. 
Microbiotic crusts provide soil stability 
and retention, and are essential for 
nutrient availability and cycling. 

♦ Sustainability of soil ecosystem function and 
process is at risk in areas where redistribution 
of nutrients in terrestrial ecosystems has 
resulted from changes in vegetation 
composition and pattern, removal of the larger 
sized wood component, and risk of 
uncharacteristic fire . 

♦ Floodplain and riparian area soils have a 
reduced ability to store and regulate 
chemicals and water in areas where riparian 
vegetation has been reduced or removed, or 
where soil loss associated with reading in 
riparian areas has occurred. In these areas, 
water quantity may be reduced during low 
flows, and water quality may have less buffer 
from pollution. 

Air Quality 

♦The current condition of air quality in the 
planning area is considered good, relative to 
other areas of the country. 

♦ Wildfires significantly affect the air 
resource. Current wildfires produce higher 
levels of smoke emissions than historically. 



because fuel available to be consumed by 
wildfire has increased. 

♦Within the project area, the current trend in 
prescribed fire use is expected to result in 
an increase of smoke emissions. 

Terrestrial Ecosystems 

Terrestrial ecosystems descriptions are 
separated into forestlands, rangelands, and 
riparian areas. Changes in vegetation and 
habitat, with explanations of how these changes 
affect management decisions today, are 
discussed to set the stage for the management 
alternatives. Forestlands and rangelands in the 
planning area are highly diverse, ranging from 
moist areas near the crest of the Cascades to dry 
areas in the northern Great Basin. 

Due to the wide variety of plant species and 
landscape forms distributed throughout the 
planning area, there is a diversity of animal 
species found within forestlands, rangelands. and 
riparian areas. An assortment of animal species 
live in these areas, from the grizzly bear in the 
northern Cascades to the Townsend's big-eared 
bat in southern Oregon. There are 13,000 
terrestrial animal and plant species addressed in 
the Terrestrial Ecology chapter of the Assessment 
of Ecosystem Components, ofwhich 547 are 
vertebrates. Wildlife species in the planning area 
that are listed by the federal government under 
the Endangered Species Act (1976) include: bald 
eagle, grizzly bear, northern spotted owl, and 
marbled murrelet, which are listed as threatened; 
peregrine falcon, woodland caribou, and gray 
wolf, listed as endangered; and spotted frog, 
which is a candidate for listing. The Forest 
Service and/or the BLM classify 135 terrestrial 
vertebrates as sensitive species. Approximately 
12,790 plant species are known in the project 
area; of these three are threatened, two are 
endangered, one is proposed for listing, and 526 
are Forest Service or BLM sensitive species. 

The existing vegetative cover within an area can 
vary based on past disturbances. The term 
potential vegetation type is used to represent all 
of the species that could grow on a specific site in 
the absence of disturbance, which is an integral 
part of that ecosystem and its evolution. For the 
Eastside EIS, potential vegetation types were 
grouped into seven potential vegetation groups: 
dry forest, moist forest, cold forest, dry shrub, 



Affected Environment 



cool shrub, dry grass, and riparian shrubland 
herb. Vegetation and habitats in terrestrial 
ecosystems are discussed by potential vegetation 
group. 

Forestlands 

Forest Service- or BLM-administered forestlands 
make up approximately 50 percent of the Eastside 
planning area (this includes alpine vegetation) . 
Forestlands in the project area are divided into 
three groups — diy, moist, and cold forest 
potential vegetation groups — and are described by 
distribution, composition, structure, historical and 
current conditions, disturbance patterns, and 
disturbance processes. 

♦ Interior ponderosa pine has decreased 
across its range with a significant decrease 
in old single-story structure. The primary- 
transitions were to interior Douglas-flr and 
grand fir/white fir. 

♦There has been a loss of the large tree 
component (live and dead] within roaded and 
harvested areas. This decrease affects 
terrestrial wildlife species closely associated 
with these old forest structures. 

♦Western larch has decreased across its 
range. The primary transitions were to 
interior Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, or 
grand fir/white fir. 

♦Western white pine has decreased by 95 
percent across its range. The primary 
transitions were to grand fir /white fir, 
western larch, and shrub/herb/tree 
regeneration. 

♦The whitebark pine/alpine larch potential 
vegetation type has decreased by 95 
percent across its range, primarily through 
a transition into the whitebark pine cover 
type. Overall, however, the whitebark pine 
cover stand has also decreased, with 
compensating increases in Engelmann 
spruce/subalpine fir. 

♦ Generally, mid-seral forest structures have 
increased in dry and moist forest potential 
vegetation groups, with a loss of large, 
scattered, and residual shade-intolerant 
tree components, and an increase in the 
density of smaller shade-tolerant diameter 
trees. 

♦There has been an increase in fragmentation 
and a loss of connectivity within and between 



blocks of late-seral, old forests, especially in 
lower elevation forests and riparian areas. 
This has isolated some animal habitats and 
populations and reduced the ability of 
populations to move across the landscape, 
resulting in a long-term loss of genetic 
interchange. 

♦There has been an increase in access for 
humans which has decreased the 
availability of areas with low human 
activities that are important to large forest 
carnivores and omnivores. 

Rangelands 

BLM- and Forest Service-administered 
rangelands make up approximately 48 percent of 
the Eastside planning area (including upland 
woodland vegetation) . Rangelands include diy 
grass, dry shrub, and cool shrub potential 
vegetation groups. Only a few tree species, 
including juniper and lodgepole and ponderosa 
pine, are native to rangelands. These species 
typically are located in wetter areas, especially in 
riparian areas and areas close to forests. 

♦ Noxious weeds are spreading rapidly, and in 
some cases exponentially, on rangelands in 
every range cluster. 

♦ Woody species encroachment and/or 
increasing density of woody species 
(sagebrush, juniper, ponderosa pine, 
lodgepole pine, and Douglas-fir), especially 
on dry grasslands and cool shrublands, has 
reduced herbaceous understory and 
biodiversity. 

♦ Cheatgrass has taken over many dry 
shrublands, increasing soil erosion and fire 
frequency and reducing biodiversity and 
wildlife habitat. Cheatgrass and other 
exotic plant infestations have simplified 
species composition, reduced biodiversity , 
changed species interactions and forage 
availability, and reduced the systems' 
ability to buffer against changes. 

♦ Degradation of riparian areas and 
subsequent loss of riparian vegetation 
cover, has reduced riparian ecosystem 
function, water quality, and habitat for 
many aquatic and terrestrial species. 

♦ Expansion of agricultural and urban areas 
on non-federal lands has reduced the extent 
of some rangeland potential vegetation 
groups, most notably dry grasslands, dry 









shrublands, and riparian areas. Changes in 
some of the remaining habitat patches due 
to fragmentation, exotic species, disruption 
of natural fire cycles, overuse by livestock 
and wildlife, and loss of native species 
diversity have contributed to a number of 
wildlife species declines, some to the point 
of special concern (such as sage grouse, 
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, California 
bighorn sheep, pygmy rabbit, kit fox, and 
Washington and Idaho ground squirrels). 

♦ Increased fragmentation and loss of 
connectivity within and between blocks of 
habitat, especially in the shrub steppe and 
riparian areas, have isolated some habitats 
and populations and reduced the ability of 
populations to move across the landscape, 
resulting in long-term loss of genetic 
Interchange. 

♦ Slow-to-recover rangelands (in general, 
rangelands that receive less than 1 2 inches 
of precipitation per year) are not recovering 
naturally at a pace that is acceptable to the 
general public, and are either highly 
susceptible to degradation or already 
dominated by cheatgrass and noxious 
weeds. 

♦ Open road densities and human activity 
have increased. Higher densities cause 
many species to leave the area to avoid 
human activity. Recreation, plant gathering, 
and other uses of all types of habitat have 
steadily increased recently because of 
increasing human populations in the project 
area. These uses can increase wildlife 
displacement and vulnerability to mortality, 
can fragment habitat, and allow for access of 
exotic plants into new locations. 

Aquatic Ecosystems 

The condition of aquatic ecosystems in the project 
area Is characterized by the hydrologic 
environments of watersheds, water bodies, riparian 
areas, and wetlands, then describing the status of 
fish species that use and are affected by these 
environments. Specialattentlon is givento native 
fish species, especially wide-ranging salmon and 
trout species, as well as local and rare species 
that inhabit the northern Great Basin and upper 
Klamath Basin. 



Watershed Processes 

♦ Management activities throughout 
watersheds in the project area have affected 
the quantity and quality of water, processes 
of sedimentation and erosion, and the 
production and distribution of organic 
material, thus affecting hydrologic 
conditions. On federally managed lands, the 
most pronounced changes to watersheds 
are due to water diversions and 
impoundment, road construction, and 
vegetation alteration (including silvicultural 
practices, fire suppression, and forage 
production). 

♦ Banks and beds of streams, rivers, and 
lakes have been altered by bank and shore 
structures, transportation Improvements, 
Instream mining activities, flood-control 
works, and alteration of riparian areas. In 
general, the changes have been greatest for 
the larger streams, rivers, and lakes. 

♦ Water quantity and flow rates have been 
locally affected by dams, diversions, and 
groundwaterwlthdrawal. More subtle, but 
widespread changes In water quantity and flow 
patterns on federally-managed lands have 
probably been caused by road construction, 
and changes in vegetation due to silvicultural 
practices and livestock grazing. 

♦Within the eastern Oregon and Washington 
planning area, 1 1 percent of Forest Service- 
administered streams and 13 percent of 
BLM-administered streams are "water 
quality limited" as defined by the Clean 
Water Act. On Forest Service-administered 
lands, the primary water quality problems 
are sedimentation, turbidity, flow alteration, 
and high temperatures. On BLM- 
administered lands, high sediment, 
turbidity levels, and temperatures are the 
primary reasons for listing as water quality 
limited. 

♦ Important aspects of fish habitat, such as 
pool frequency and large woody debris 
abundance, have decreased throughout 
much of the project area. Pool frequency 
and wood frequency are generally less in 
areas with higher road densities, and in 
areas where timber harvest has been a 
management emphasis. 

♦The overall extent and continuity of riparian 
areas and wetlands has decreased, 
primarily due to conversion to agriculture. 



Affected Enmronment 



but also due to urbanization, transportation 
improvements, and stream channel 
modifications. 

♦ Riparian ecosystem function, determined by 
the amount and type of vegetation cover, 
has decreased in most sub-basins within 
the project area. 

♦A majority of riparian areas on Forest Service 
and BLM -administered lands are either "not 
meeting objectives," "non-functioning," or 
"functioning at risk." However, the rate has 
slowed and a few areas show increases in 
riparian cover and large trees. 

♦Within riparian woodlands, the abundance 
of mid-seral vegetation has increased 
whereas the abundance of late-and early- 
seral structural stages has decreased, 
primarily due to fire exclusion and the 
harvest of large trees. 

♦Within riparian shrublands, there has been 
extensive spread of western Juniper and 
introduction of exotic grasses and forbs, 
primarily due to processes and activities 
associated with improper livestock grazing. 

♦The frequency and extent of seasonal 
floodplain and wetland inundation has been 
altered by changes in flow regime due to 
dams, diversions, and groundwater 
withdrawal, and by changes in channel 
morphology due to sedimentation and 
erosion, channelization, and installment of 
transportation improvements such as roads 
and railroads. 

♦There is an overall decrease in large trees 
and late-seral vegetation in riparian are? s. 

Aquatic Species 

Aquatic species in the Eastside planning area that 
are federally listed under the Endangered Species 
Act as threatened are the Warner sucker, Hutton 
Spring tui chub, Lahontan cuttroat trout, Foskett 
speckled dace, and Snake River chinook salmon 
(both the spring/ summer and fall runs). 
Endangered species include the shortnose sucker, 
Lost IRiver sucker. Borax Lake chub, and Snake River 
sockeye salmon. BuU trout is a candidate species. 

♦The composition, distribution, and status of 
fishes within the planning area are 
substantially different than they were 
historically. Some native fishes have been 
eliminated from large portions of their 
historical ranges. 



♦ Many native nongame fish are vulnerable 
because of their restricted distribution or 
fragile or unique habitats. 

♦Although several of the key salmonids are 
still broadly distributed (notably the 
cutthroat trouts and redband trout) , declines 
in abundance, loss of life history patterns, 
local extinctions, and fragmentation and 
isolation in smaller blocks of high quality 
habitat are apparent. 

♦ Wild chinook salmon and steelhead are near 
extinction in a major part of their remaining 
distribution. 

♦ Habitat, hydropower development, harvest, 
hatchery management, and irrigation 
withdrawals all affect the survival of 
remaining anadromous fish populations 
within the interior Columbia IRiver Basin to 
different extents. Land management 
activities have affected the habitat for wild 
chinook and steelhead and have limited 
their spawning and rearing success. The 
contribution of freshwater habitat to 
declines in anadromous fish populations 
would be least in central Idaho (for example 
wilderness areas and other protected 
areas) , which is affected the most by dams 
between spawning and rearing areas and 
the ocean, and the northern Cascades, but 
greater in the lower Snake and mid- 
Columbia drainages. The influence of 
hydropower on anadromous fishpopulations 
increases upriver where there are more dams 
between freshwater spawning and rearing areas 
and the ocean. Harvest offish, which has 
been curtailed in recent years , has less effect 
today than it did historically. Hatcheries are 
an important element throughout the basin, 
but their effect on native stocks is variable. 

♦ Core areas for rebuilding and maintaining 
biological diversity associated with native 
fishes still exist within the planning area. 

Human Uses and Values 

Human uses are characterized by the social and 
economic components of ecosystems in eastern 
Oregon and Washington. Emphasis is on the 
relationship of social and economic systems to 
Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in 
the planning area. The economic and social 
setting provided here establishes the context for 
making land use choices compatible with human 
needs and expectations for these lands. 



♦The planning area is sparsely populated and 
rural, especially in areas with a large 
amount of agency lands. Some rural areas 
are experiencing rapid population growth, 
especially those areas offering high quality 
recreation and scenery. Population growth 
can stimulate economic growth, provide 
new economic opportunities, and promote 
economic diversity in rural areas. 

♦ Development for a growing human population 
is encroaching on previously undeveloped 
areas adjacent to lands administered by the 
Forest Service and BLM, diminishing habitat 
for some wildlife and increasing agency costs 
to manage fire to protect people and 
structures. 

♦ Recreation is an important use of agency 
lands in the planning area in terms of 
economic value and amount of use. Most 
recreation use is tied to roads and 
accessible water bodies, though primitive 
and semi-primitive recreation is also 
important and becoming scarce relative to 
growing demand. 

♦ Industries customarily served by agency 
land uses, such as logging, wood products 
manufacturing and livestock grazing, no 
longer dictate the economic prosperity of 
the region, but remain economically and 
culturally important in rural areas. The 
economic dependence of communities on 
these industries is highest in areas that are 
geographically isolated and short on 
alternative employment opportunities. 

♦The public has invested substantial land 
and capital to develop road systems on 
agency lands in the planning area, primarily 
to serve commodity uses. On forestlands, 
commercial timber harvest has financed 90 
percent of the construction cost and 70 
percent of maintenance cost. Recreation 
now accounts for 60 percent of the use. 

♦ For those counties that have benefited from 
federal sharing of gross receipts from 
commodity sales on agency lands, changing 
levels of commodity outputs can affect 
county budgets. 

♦Agency social and economic policy has 
emphasized the goal of supporting rural 
communities, specifically promoting stability 
in those communities deemed dependent on 
agency timber harvest and processing. E>ven- 
flow of timber sales, timber sale bidding 



methods, timber export restrictions, and small 
business set-asides of timber sales have been 
the major policy tools on Forest Service- 
administered commercial forestlands. 
Regulation of grazing practices has been 
important on BLM-administered rangelands. 

♦The factors that appear to help make 
communities resilient to economic and 
social change include population size and 
growth rate, economic diversity, social and 
cultural attributes, amenity setting, and 
quality of life. The ability of agencies to 
improve community resiliency depends on 
the effectiveness of agency land uses and 
management strategies to positively 
influence these factors. 

♦ Predictability in timber sale volume from 
agency lands has been increasingly difficult 
to achieve. Advancing knowledge of 
ecosystem processes, changing societal 
goals, and changing forest conditions has 
undermined conventional assumptions 
underlying the quantity and regularity of 
timber supply from agency lands. 

American Indians 

American Indian populations are characterized by 
their cultural history, legal context, and existing 
federal agency relations with the project area's 22 
federally recognized American Indian tribes ( 1 7 
with interest in the Eastside planning area). The 
ways in which American Indians use Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands is 
discussed in the context of their cultural, social, 
economic, religious, and governmental interests. 
The United States government has a unique 
responsibility to Indian tribes. 

A culture includes religious, economic, political, 
communication, and kinship systems, as it is the 
whole set of learned behavior patterns common to 
a group of people, their interactive behavior 
systems, and their material goods. 

Most of the prehistoric cultures of the project 
area belonged to either the Plateau or Northern 
Great Basin Culture Areas. The Pit River and 
Shasta tribes, who are associated with the 
Klamath Tribe, are grouped within the Californian 
Culture Area. Over thirty Plateau bands 
historically occupied the northern portion of the 
interior Columbia Basin and part of the Klamath 
Basin. Many bands, including the three Northern 
Great Basin bands ~ the Bannock, Northern 






Affected Enmronmerit: 



Paiute, and Shoshoni ~ occupied most of the project 
area's southern half. Differences existed among 
cultures, especially between tribal culture areas. 

♦ There is low confidence and trust that 
American Indian rights and interests are 
considered when decisions are proposed 
and made for actions to be taken on BLM- or 
Forest Service-administered lands. 

♦American Indian values on federal lands 
may be affected by proposed actions on 
forestlands and rangelands because of 
changes in vegetation structure, 
composition, and density; existing roads: 
and watershed conditions. 

♦ Indian tribes do not feel that they are 
involved in the decision-making process 
commensurate with their legal status. They 
do not feel that government- to-govemment 
consultation is taking place. 

♦ Culturally significant species such as 
anadromous fish and the habitat necessary to 
support healthy, sustainable, and harvestable 
populations conistitute a major, but not the 
only, concern for all factors that keep the 
ecosystem healthy. American Indian people 
have concern for all factors that keep the 
ecosystem healthy. 



Integrated Summary of 
Forestland, Rangelandf 
and Aquatic Integrity 

Individual 4th-field Hydrologic Unit Codes 
(HUCs), also known as sub-basins, were rated for 
integrity from separate aquatic, terrestrial, and 
hydrological viewpoints. These viewpoints, or 
integrity layers, were then analyzed together, or 
integrated, to provide a more unified view. This 
effort revealed groups or clusters of sub-basins 
that exhibit a similar set of conditions or 
characteristics, reflecting a common management 
history; terrestrial and aquatic conditions, and 
management needs, opportunities, risks, and 
conflicts. 

The integrated cluster summaries provided a 
project- wide context for the EIS team to tailor 
alternatives and evaluate their effects on a more 
site-specific scale (a few million acres) within the 
144-million-acre project area. The cluster 
analysis also provides a context for evaluating 
cumulative effects. 



The Clusters 

Six forest clusters and six range clusters were 
delineated in the project area. 

Forest Clusters: Sub-basins with at least 20 
percent of their area composed of dry forest, moist 
forest, or cold forest potential vegetation groups 
were classified as forest clusters. Relationships 
among variables reflecting vegetative conditions, 
hydrologic sensitivity, and human-caused 
disturbance of native forests were studied to identiiy 
dominant patterns and differences. What emerged 
were six forest "clusters" of sub-basins with similar 
conditions. 

Range Clusters: Selected sub-basins with at 
least 20 percent of their area composed of dry 
grass, dry or cool shrub, woodland, and dry forest 
potential vegetation groups were classified as 
range clusters. Relationships among variables 
reflecting vegetative conditions, hydrologic 
sensitivity, and human-caused disturbance were 
also used in a similar, but not identical, way as 
forest clusters. Range cluster analysis identified 
dominant patterns and differences between 
subsets of these variables. What emerged were 
six range clusters, where sub-basins within 
clusters were more like each other than sub- 
basins in other clusters. 

Measuring Integrity 

Current ecological integrity was based on the 
analysis of the 1 64 sub-basins within the project 
area. Relative integrity ratings {high, moderate, 
low) were assigned by sub-basin for forestlands, 
rangelands, forest and rangeland hydrology, and 
aquatic systems. At present, 26 percent of the 
land in the project area that is administered by 
the BLM or Forest Service is in high, 28 percent 
in moderate, and 46 percent in low ecological 
integrity areas. 



Description of 
Alternatives 



Each alternative is characterized by themes, 
goals, objectives, and standards. Achieving such 
management objectives may require alteration of 
the physical and biological environment. The 
alternatives also include guidelines (see 
Appendix 3-2), which are suggested actions that 
are designed to minimize the adverse effects 
associated with modifying the landscape. 



Management Emphasis 

For each alternative, one of six management 
emphases was given to each forest and range 
cluster, depending on the theme of the alternative. 
The management emphases are Conserve- 
Restoure, Produce, Conserve-Restore, Conserve- 
Produce, and Restore-Produce. The three primary 
empahses are briefly defined as follows. 

Conserve is a management emphasis on protection 
and maintenance of forest, rangeland, and aquatic 
conditions, health, and integrity. Management 
recognizes that natural processes dominate the 
landscape and gradual change will occur. Restore 
is a management emphasis designed to move 
ecosystems to desired conditions and processes, 
and/or to healthy forestlands, rangelands, and 
aquatic systems. A variety of management- 
induced activities dominate the landscape. 
Produce is a management emphasis directed at 
providing, growing, or making goods and services 
available for human needs and/or desires, while 
sustaining productivity and maintaining associated 
values. Under Produce strategies, consumption- 
based activities dominate the landscape. This 
management strategy is applied to areas available 
and suitable for resource production in order to 
provide goods and services. 



Alternative 1 (No Action) continues management 
specified under existing Forest Service and BLM 
land-use plans, as amended by the Northwest 
Forest Plan. Implementation of this alternative 
would occur assuming recent budgets. Analysis 
of a No Action alternative is a requirement of the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and 
BLM and Forest Service planning procedures. 
This alternative displays the likely outcome of 
federal agencies' use of existing plans to manage 
lands and resources into the future. 

The No Action Alternative includes direction from 
3 1 National Forest plans and 44 BLM plans in the 
project area ( 1 5 National Forest plans and 1 3 
BLM plans in the Eastside planning area), which 
were prepared between 1975 and 1995. 
Although substantial variation exists among 
agency plans, the general management approach 
is to emphasize or accommodate sustained 
timber, wood fiber, and livestock forage 
production in an environmentally prudent 
manner while managing and protecting other 
resources and values. Timber and livestock 
management are integrated and coordinated with 
the maintenance or enhancement of wildlife and 
fish habitat, scenic quality, recreation 
opportunities, and other resource values to 
achieve overall multiple use goals and objectives. 
On many areas, management of other resources 
or values such as recreation, wilderness, big 
game and fish habitat, or cultural resources is 
emphasized. 

Many current land-use plans were based on the 
assumption of healthy ecosystem conditions. 
With a general focus on production from 
forestlands, many current plans rely on even- 
aged management practices leading to forests 
characterized by a regulated forest of early- to 
mid-seral structures, and controlled densities 
and patterns. A minimum level of late/old 
structures and habitats was planned. On 



Table S-1 


Management Emphases for Alternative 1 (Project Area) 












% of All 
Forest Clusters 


Forest 
Cluster No. 


% of All 
Rsmge Clusters 


Range 
Cluster No. 


Management Emphasis 

Conserve 

Produce 

Produce/Conserve 






10 
57 
33 


1 

3, 4, 5 

2,6 




8 
67 

25 


2 

1, 4, 5,6 
3 










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m 


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rangelcinds, vegetation management is focused 
on providing forage for livestock and wildlife 
while protecting forage productivity and 
coordinating with other resource uses. 

Alternatives 1 and 2 are based on existing land 
and resource management plans currently being 
implemented by the BLM or the Forest Service. 
Each plan has desired future conditions or other 
expectations, and since the plans range from six 
to twenty years old, there is a high degree of 
variation in the desired future conditions among 
the plans. 

Lands managed by the BLM or Forest Service will 
continue to provide a mix of natural resource- 
based goods and services. Management focuses 
on providing resource outputs including timber, 
livestock forage, wildlife, and minerals while also 
providing for other multiple uses and values 
including aesthetics, recreation opportunities, 
viewable wildlife, and clean air and water. 
Current management has improved some 
conditions on public lands. Resource 
management emphasis continues to vary among 
National Forests and BLM districts based on the 
character of the land and resources, and public 
interests. Timber harvest and livestock outputs 
are planned to be near levels produced when the 
plans were approved. Timber production is 
planned only in areas classified as suitable for 
such production. Because BLM-administered 
lands and some National Forests tend to be 
grasslands and shrublands, the general 
management perspective is to produce forage for 
livestock grazing, wildlife, and wild horses at or 
near levels when plans were approved. In 
general, most lands are open and accessible for 
mineral and energy resource exploration and 
development. 

Alternative 2 applies recent interim direction as 
the long-term strategy for lands managed by the 
Forest Service or BLM. The interim direction 
was developed to retain options for management 



of affected federal lands while this environmental 
impact statement was being developed. Specific 
direction is described in the following decision 
notices: 

♦ Implementation of Interim Strategies for 
Managing Anadromous Fish-producing 
Watersheds in Eastern Oregon and 
Washington, Idaho, and Portions of 
California (PACFISH), February 24, 1995: 
Applies to all or parts of Malheur, Ochoco, 
Okanogan, UmatUla, and Wallowa- Whitman 
National Forests, and Prineville, Spokane 
and Vale BLM Districts. 

♦ Interim Management Direction Establishing 
Riparian, Ecosystem and Wildlife Standards 
for Timber Sales (Eastside Screens), May 
20, 1994; amended June 5, 1995: riparian 
standards were replaced July 3 1 , 1995; 
Applies to all or parts of Colville, 
Deschutes, Fremont, Malheur, Ochoco, 
Okanogan, Umatilla, Wallowa- Whitman and 
Winema National Forests. PACFISH is used 
as the riparian screen requirement. 

♦ Inland Native Fish Strategy (INFISH) , July 
28, 1995. Applies to all or parts of Colville, 
Deschutes, Fremont, Malheur, Ochoco, 
Okanogan, Wallowa- Whitman, and Winema 
National Forests. 

The interim direction emphasizes protection and 
maintenance of aquatic, riparian, and wildlife 
resources while using conservative approaches to 
management. Direction for PACFISH and INFISH 
does not overlap. All other direction from current 
plans (Alternative 1) would also continue into the 
future; the direction described in Alternative 1 
applies to those areas not covered by interim 
direction. 

Under Alternative 2, forestlands and rangelands 
managed by the Forest Service and BLM continue 
to provide a mix of natural resource-based goods 
and services. On forestlands not subject to 
timber management activities, desired future 
conditions are also the same as described in 
Alternative 1 . On areas subject to timber 



Table S-2. Management Emphases for Alternative 2 (Project Area). 




% of All 
Forest Clusters 


Forest 
Cluster No. 


% of All 
Range Clusters 


Range 
Cluster No. 


Management Emphasis 

Conserve 
Conserve / Restore 
Produce/Conserve 


43 
26 
31 


1,2, 6 

5 

3,4 


33 

NA 
67 


2,3 

NA 
1.4. 5, 6 






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majiagement and/ or areas within designated 
riparian areas in key/ priority watersheds, some 
differences in desired range of future conditions 
from Alternative 1 apply. 

Features Common to 
Alternatives 3 through 7 

Goals were the foundation for developing 
alternatives. They are broad general statements of 
Intent that are neither quantified nor time-specific. 
A set of goals common to Alternatives 3 through 7 
was developed from the Purpose and Need because 
it is recognized that any ecosystem management 
strategy must simultaneously achieve a number of 
common conditions and outcomes. Alternatives 3 
through 7 would address each goal to varying 
degrees. 

Goal 1. Sustain and where necessary restore 
the health of forest, rangeland, aquatic, 
and riparian ecosystems. 

Goal 2. Provide a predictable, sustained flow of 
economic benefits within the capability 
of the ecosystem. 

Goal 3. Provide diverse recreational and 

educational opportunities within the 
capability of the ecosystem. 

Goal 4. Contribute to recovery and de-listing of 
threatened and endangered species. 

Goal 5. Manage natural resources consistent 

with treaty and trust responsibilities to 
American Indian tribes. 



Alternative 3 updates existing Forest Service 
and BLM land use plans in response to changing 
conditions (such as declining forestland and 
rangeland health, local economies at risk, and 
declining salmon runs), while minimizing changes 
to local plans and relying on local public needs 
and desires. Each National Forest or BLM 
District would emphasize local public input to 



determine a desired mix of uses, services, 
restoration and management actions consistent 
with ecosystem principles to incorporate into the 
land use plans. Direct involvement with state, 
county, and tribal governments will be used in 
planning, decision-making, and implementation of 
programs. 

The emphasis in this alternative is to make 
minimal modification to existing plans to allow 
them to be more effective, integrated, and 
consistent in the face of changed ecological 
conditions and increasing numbers of appeals 
and lawsuits. Only those priority conditions that 
most hinder the effectiveness of existing plans 
are addressed in this alternative and distinguish 
it from the No Action Alternative (Alternative 1 ) . 
This alternative provides a broader dimension 
and more integrated management direction 
regarding priority large-scale issues that cross 
administrative boundaries than do Alternatives 1 
or 2. 

Alternative 4 is designed to aggressively restore 
ecosystem health, the results of which would 
resemble endemic disturbance processes 
including insects, disease, and fire. The 
alternative focuses on short-term vegetation 
management to improve the likelihood of moving 
towards or maintaining ecosystem processes that 
function properly in the long-term. Vegetation 
management is designed to reduce risks to 
property, products, and economic and social 
opportunities that can result from large 
disturbance events. Direct involvement with 
state, county, and tribal governments will be 
used in planning, decision-making, and 
implementation of programs. 

The priority in this alternative is placed on 
forestland, rangeland, and watershed health, 
assuming that healthy streams, wildlife 
populations, and economic and social benefits 
will follow. Actions taken to achieve desired 



Table S-3. Management Emphases for Alternative 3 (Project Area). 



% of All 
Forest Clusters 



Forest 
Cluster No. 



% of All 
Range Clusters 



Range 
Cluster No. 



Management Emphasis 








Conserve 


NA 


NA 


8 


Conserve/Restore 


28 


1,6 


25 


Restore 


54 


2,3, 5 


19 


Restore/Produce 


18 


4 


48 



2 
3 

5 

4,6 






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Table S-4. Management Emphases for Alternative 4 (Project Area). 




% of All 
Forest Clusters 


Forest 
Cluster No. 


% of All 
Range Clusters 


Range 
Cluster No. 


Management Emphasis 

Conserve/Restore 
Restore 


10 

90 


1 

2. 3,4, 5,6 


8 

92 


2 

1,3, 4, 5.6 



conditions are designed to produce economic 
benefits whenever practical . A wide variety of 
management tools are available under this 
alternative. 

Alternative 5 emphasizes production of goods 
and services at the sub-regional level consistent 
with the principles of ecosystem management. 
Biological capability and economic efficiency are 
used to determine relative priority uses for an 
area, rather than local demands and traditional 
uses. Areas that are best able to produce 
products, goods or services, or desired 
conditions are targeted to do so within the 
ecological capability of the area. Other uses also 
are expected to exist when they do not conflict 
with or diminish the priority uses. While a full 
range of conditions, products, and services may 
not be provided in all localities, the desired range 
of conditions, products, and services will be met 
on a regional (project area) basis. Direct 
involvement with state, county, and tribal 
governments will be used in planning, decision- 
making, and implementation of programs. 



In this alternative, the EIS team identified areas 
best able to produce goods, services, or desired 
conditions, within the ecological capability of the 
land. Five resource priorities were considered: 
timber, livestock, aquatic resources, wildlife, and 
recreation. The assumption used inbuilding this 
alternative was that each forest and range cluster 
has a primary management priority and some 
have a secondary priority. Other uses are likely 
to occur, but any conflicts would be resolved in 
favor of the priorityuses. 

Alternative 6 emphasizes an adaptive 
management approach to restore and maintain 
ecosystems and provide for the social and 
economic needs of people. While much 
knowledge of natural resource management has 
been acquired through experience and research, 
ecosystems are complex, and knowledge of the 
functions and processes that make up 
ecosystems is limited. Management strategies 
will be adjusted based on information gained from 
continued research and monitoring of ecological, 
social, and economic conditions and from direct 
input from state, county, and tribal officials. 



Table S-5. Management Emphases 


and Priorities for Alternative 5 (Project Area). 




% of All 


Forest 


% of All 


Range 








Forest 


Cluster 


Range 


Cluster 


Forest Cluster 


Range Cluster 




Cluster 


No. 


Cluster 


No. 


Priority 


Priority 


Management 














Emphasis 














Conserve 


10 


1 


7 


2 


Recreation/Aquadcs 


Recreation /Aquatics 


Conserve/Restore 


15 


2 


25 


3 


Aquatics/Recreation 


Recreation/Wadlife 


Restore 


39 


3,5 


NA 


NA 


Aquatics /Timber / 
Livestock 


NA 


Restore/Produce 


18 


6 


35 


1.6 


Wildlife/Recreation 


Livestock/Timber/ 
Wildlife 


Produce 


18 


4 


NA 


NA 


Timber /Wildlife 


NA 


Produce/Conserve 


NA 


NA 


33 


4.5 


NA 


WQdlife/Livestock/ 
Recreation 


^^^®«l 




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^-^ 







This alternative is similar to Alternative 4 but takes 
a slower, more cautious approach; implies the use of 
experimental processes, local research, and 
extensive monitoring; is expected to take longer to 
reach desired conditions; and has built-in 
uncertainty over which management actions will 
prove to be the most effective. 

Under this alternative, actions are implemented on 
a broad-scale basis only when previous monitoring 
results or scientific research demonstrate that the 
actions are effective in achieving desired outcomes. 
Restorationactivities that are well studied and well 
understood are pursued as actively under Alternative 
6 as under Alternative 4. Priorities for restoration 
are generally in high hazard or high risk areas with 
high or moderate potential for success. 

Alternative 7 emphasizes reducing risk to 
ecological integrity and species viability by 
establishing a system of reserves on lands 
administered by the Forest Service or BLM. 
Reserves are located to include all representative 
vegetation types and are large enough so natural 
process can occur without the influence of 
humans and still maintain the communities they 
were selected to represent. The level of human 
use and management is very low within the 
reserves. When disturbance events occur, 
actions are taken to reduce the likelihood of the 
event extending beyond the boundary of the 
reserve. Management of reserves is focused on 
long-term maintenance of naturaJ, processes and 
conditions with which plant and animal species 
have evolved. Most restoration activities occur 
on lands managed by the Forest Service or the 
BLM outside reserves, although restoration 
actions are taken within reserves where there is a 
high risk for events occurring in the short term 
that would preclude achieving desired outcomes 
in the long term. Management outside the 
reserve boundaries include an emphasis on 
conserving remaining old forest stands and 
roadless areas larger than 1 ,000 acres. Direct 
involvement with state, county, and tribal 



governments will be used in planning, decision- 
making, and implementation of programs. 

Reserves were selected for their representation of 
vegetation and rare animal species. No 
commercial timber harvest is permitted inside 
reserves, but limited silvicultural activities are 
allowed to enhance species viability. Livestock 
grazing is strictly limited to improve the long- 
term conditions for which the reserve was 
established. Dispersed, low- impact recreation 
use is allowed, including hunting and fishing, as 
long as these activities do not affect populations 
or habitats of rare species. 

An emphasis of Alternative 7 is to restore fire as 
a natural disturbance process. However, limited 
management efforts may occur for some 
conditions where human action is considered 
necessary to achieve objectives of the reserves. 
The areas outside the reserves, sometimes 
referred to as the matrix, will be generally 
managed more actively. 

Objectives and Standards 

An index to the objectives and standards for the 
alternatives is included here. The full 
description of this management direction can be 
found in Table 3-5 in Chapter 3. 



Management Activities 
Summary 

Tables S-8 and S-9 summarize the levels of 
management activity that the EIS team assumed 
would occur in the first 10 years across the 
Eastside planning area. These numbers were 
derived by applying rule sets developed by the 
EIS team to the results of a vegetation succession 
model (CRBSUM) used for the Interior Columbia 
Basin Ecosystem Management Project. 



Table S-6. Management Emphases for Alternative 6 (Project Area). 



% of All 
Forest Clusters 



Forest 
Cluster No. 



% of All 
Range Clusters 



Range 
Cluster No. 



Management Emphasis 










Conserve / Res tore 


28 


1,6 


52 


2, 3. 5 


Restore 


72 


2, 3, 4, 5 


48 


1, 4, 6 



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Table S-7. Management Emphases for Alternative 7 (Project Area) . 



% of All 
Forest Clusters 



Forest 
Cluster No. 



% of All 
Range Clusters 



Range 
Cluster No. 



Management Emphasis 










Conserve 


43 


1,2,6 


52 


2,3, 5 


Conserve/Restore 


57 


3,4,5 


48 


1, 4, 6 



Table S-8. Management Activities in Forest Clusters (Eastside Planning Area). 



Alternative 



Harvest 



Thin 



Prescribed 
Burning 



Watershed 
Restoration 



Acres (thousands per decade) 



1 


1235-1665 


405-545 


325-435 


190-255 


2 


640-860 


425-575 


325-435 


305-415 


3 


870-1180 


640-860 


955-1295 


305-415 


4 


935-1265 


765-1035 


1380-1870 


600-820 


5 


1065-1440 


615-835 


895-1210 


485-660 


6 


765-1035 


725-975 


1255-1695 


530-720 


7 


240-320 


260-350 


1005-1355 


190-255 



Table S-9. 


Management Activities 


in Range Clusters (Eastside Planning Area). 








Livestock 


Improve 


Prescribed 


Riparian 




Alternative 


Management 


Rangelands 


Burning 


Restoration 










Acres (thousands per decade) 






1 




355-485 


240-320 


180-240 


30-50 




2 




1045-1415 


240-320 


180-240 


30-50 




3 




1045-1415 


705-955 


315-425 


80-110 




4 




1750-2370 


965^1305 


355-475 


90-125 




5 




970-1310 


535-725 


230-310 


80-110 




6 




1750-2370 


595-805 


355-485 


90-125 




7 




645-875 


240-320 


305-415 


70-90 





Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 

Implementing Ecosystem Management 

EM-0 1 Implement ICBEMP using multi-scaled hierarcliical analysis 

EM-02 Implement ICBEMP using collaborative intergovernmental approach 

Sub-basin Review 

EM-03 Conduct brief sub-basin reviews 

EM-S 1 Complete sub-basin reviews within 1-3 years 

EM-S2 Things to consider during sub-basin review 

EM-S3 Collaborative, interagency sub-basin review shall prioritize EAWS 

EM-S4 Use sub-basin review for EAWS and land use plan revisions 

Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 

EM-04 Conduct ecosystem analysis at the watershed scale (EAWS) 

EM-S5 Federal Guide for EAWS shall be used 

EM-S6 Line officers shall set the scope of EAWS 

EM-S7 Category 1 sub-basins EAWS "trigger" 

EM-S8 Listed, Proposed, Candidate species EAWS "trigger" 

EM-S9 Low road density EAWS "trigger" 

EM-S 1 Large blocks of native rangeland EAWS "trigger" 

EM-S 1 1 Screening process to exempt activities from EAWS 

EM-S 1 2 Four-year transition period in Category 2 and 3 sub-basins 

EM-S 13 Restrictions on modifying standards, including RMOs and RCAs 

EM-S 14 Use EAWS to provide context for land management activities 



Physical Environment 

Soil Productivity 

PE-Ol Maintain soil productivity 

PE-02 Maintain riparian soils to ensure high quality water 

PE-03 Develop soil productivity protection and restoration programs 

PE-04 Restore and maintain nutrient cycling 

PE-S 1 Recommendations for managing coarse woody debris 

PE-S2 Recommendations for amounts of coarse woody debris after wildfire 

PE-S3 Recommendations for large diameter standing live and/or dead wood 

Air Quality 

PE-05 Protect air quality/ comply with Clean Air Act requirements 

PE-S4 Assess management activities that may affect air quality 



TerrestriEil Strategies 



TS-0 1 Maintain and promote native plant communities 

TS-S 1 Maintain or improve native plant communities 

P^re Disturbance Processes 

TS-02 Restore fire as natural disturbance process 

TS-03 Rehabilitate disturbed areas 

TS-S2 Rehabilitate/revegetate disturbed areas with ecologically appropriate species 

TS-S3 Use native species in rehabilitation seedings 

TS-S4 Rest burned areas from grazing to maintain soil productivity 



Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 



Noxious Weeds 

TS-04 Manage noxious weeds across jurlsdictlonal/polltical botindarles 

TS-S5 Implement IWM strategy/ 7 steps of strategy 

TS-S6 Implement IWM strategy on forest lands 

TS-05 Implement IWM strategy on rangelands 

TS-S7 Implement steps of IWM strategy. Range Clusters 2 (alts 3,4,&7 outside); 2 and 4 (alt 5): 

and2,3,&5(alt6) 
TS-S8 Implement steps IWM strategy, Range Clusters 3 (alts 3 & 5); and 1 ,3,4, 5& 6 (alt 4) 

TS-S9 Implement steps IWM strategy. Range Cluster 5 (alt 3 & 5) 

TS-SIO Implement steps IWM strategy, Range Clusters 1, 4, &6 (alt 3&7 outside); l&6(alt5); 

1, 3.4,5, &6 (alt 6) 



Forest Lands 

Dry Forest 

TS-06 Restore ecosystem processes /Dry Forest 

TS-Sl 1 Increase ppine and wlarch in mature/old single & multi-story forests 

TS-S 12 No harvest of dominant or co-dominant ppine outside reserves 

TS-Sl 3 No silvicultural treatments in mature/old forests outside reserves 

TS-S 14 No commercial harvest in dry forest terrestrial reserves 

TS-07 Manage suitable lands to produce commodities/maintain ecosystem 

Moist Forest 

TS-08 Restore ecosystem processes /Moist Forest 

TS-S 1 5 Maintain viability of and increase western white pine 

TS-S 1 6 Plant blister-rust-resistant stock/increase western white pine 

TS-S 1 7 Increase dominance of early successional, shade-intolerant species 

TS-S 18 No harvest of dominant or co-dominant ppine outside reserves 

TS-S 19 No silvicultural treatments in mature/old forests outside reserves 

TS-S20 No commercial harvest in moist forest terrestrial reserves 



TS-09 



Manage suitable lands to produce commodities/maintain ecosystem 



Cold Forest 

TS-OlO Restore ecosystem processes /Cold Forest 

TS-S2 1 Maintain viability of/ increase whitebark pine and subalpine larch 

TS-0 1 1 Manage suitable lands to produce commodities/maintain ecosystem 

Rangelands 

TS-012 Restore or maintain rangeland health 

TS-S22 Implement strategies to maintain/restore watershed function 

TS-S23 On dry shrublands, manage grazing during/after drought years 
TS-0 1 3 Produce livestock forage while restoring ground cover and productivity 
TS-014 Reduce encroachment of junipr, conifers, and sagebrush 
TS-015 Restore dry grass/dry shrub/cool shrub 

TS-S24 No livestock grazing in reserves 

TS-S25 No range improvement projects in reserves 

TS-0 16 Produce livestock forage and conserve cool shrub/dry shrub/dry grass/RC5 



Aquatic / Riparian Strategies 

AQ-Ol Emphasize riparian and aquatic processes and functions 

A9-02 Maintain high quality aquatic and riparian habitat 

AQ-03 Protect high quality waters and identify and maintain habitats 

A9-O4 Category 1 sub-basins: Maintain watersheds 

AQ-05 Restore watersheds where they have been degraded 

AQ-Oe Implement watershed restoration activities based on priorities 




Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 



A9-O7 Category 2 sub-basins : Maintain strongholds and restore watersheds 

AQ-08 Timber and livestock priority areas: Conserve species strongholds 

AQ-09 Category 3 sub-basins: Maintain strongholds 

AQ-0 10 Manage riparian vegetation consistent with site potential 

Watershed and Riparian Restoration 

AQ-Sl Watershed restoration projects to promote long-term ecological integrity 

AQ-S2 Attain PFC as a first step 

AQ-S3 Develop watershed plans for Instream structures and road obliteration/reconstruction 

AQ-S4 Offset new sediment-producing activities with sediment abatement 

AQ-S5 Design fish/wildlife habitat restoration/enhancement to attain RMOs 

Timber Management 

AQ-S6 Forest vegetation management in RCAs 

AQ-S7 Zone 1 - management to achieve or maintain characteristic stream/valley conditions 

AQ-S8 Zone 2a - manage as buffer to Zone 1 

AQ-S9 Zone 1 and 2a - not included in suitable timber base 

AQ-SIO Zone 2b - manage as additional buffer to Zones 1 and 2a 

Grazing Management 

AQ-S 1 1 Priorities for revising AMPs based on sub-basin reviews 

AQ-Sl 2 Attaining PFC and RMOs 

AQ-S 13 Limit handling efforts to not prevent attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S 1 4 New livestock handling facilities to be located outside RCAs 

AQ-S 15 No livestock grazing in RCAs in or adjacent to designated critical habitat 

AQ-S 16 Suspend grazing where riparian protection can't be implemented 

AQ-S 17 Adjust wild horse management to avoid impacts to RMOs/aquatic resources 

Minerals Management 

AQ-S 1 8 Locatable minerals - Avoid or minimize adverse impacts to aquatic resources 

AQ-S 19 Locate structures outside of RCAs where practicable 

AQ-S20 Mine wastes and toxic chemicals 

AQ-S2 1 Leasable minerals - No surface occupancy in RCAs 

AQ-S22 Restrictions on sand and gravel extraction within RCAs 

AQ-S23 Develop inspection, monitoring, and reporting requirements 

Recreation Management 

AQ-S24 Prevent or minimize adverse effects to from recreation facilities in RCAs 

AQ-S25 Design recreation facilities to not retard /prevent attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S26 Existing recreation facilities in RCAs to not prevent attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S27 Fish/wildlife user facilities to not prevent attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S28 Adjust recreation practices that retard or prevent attainment of RMOs 

Fire Suppression/Fuels Management 

AQ-S29 Fuel treatment/fire suppression to not prevent attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S30 Fire suppression activities restrictions in RCAs 

AQ-S3 1 Locate centers for fire incident activities outside of RCAs 

AQ-S32 Prohibit delivery of chemicals to surface waters 

AQ-S33 Prescribed bums/prescriptions consistent with attainment of RMOs 

AQ-S34 Prohibit backfire operations that increase fire intensities in RCAs 

AQ-S35 Establish team to develop rehab plan to attain RMOs 

Lands/Permits/Facilities 

AQ-S36 For hydro projects, require instream flows to maintain resources 
AQ-S37 Complete EAWS prior to issuing water conveyance permits 

AQ-S38 Determine/establish instream flow requirements for species needs 

AQ-S39 Revoke conveyance permits for those without state water rights 



^I>e£Kxijptia&^ 



Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 



AQ-S40 
AQ-S41 
AQ-S42 
AQ-S43 
AQ-S44 



All water conveyance intakes shall meet established standards 
Conveyance permits require best methodology to conserve water 
Hydroelectric ancillary facilities to not prevent attainment of RMOs 
New developments that may adversely affect RCAs not permitted 
Leases, permits, etc., to avoid effects inconsistent with attainment of RMOs 



Additional Riparian Management 

AQ-S45 Eliminate or reduce risks from transport of toxic chemicals 
AQ-S46 Develop contingency plans for chemical spills or contamination 
AQ-S47 Herbicides etc . to not retard or prevent attainment of RMOs 
AQ-S48 Prohibit storage of fuels and toxicants within RCAs 
AQ-S49 Locate water drafting sites to avoid adverse effects on aquatics 
AQ-0 1 1 Manage grazing in wetlands to prevent impairment of fimctions 
A9-012 Minimize disturbance to redds for candidate & sensitive species 

AQ-S50 Manage livestock to prevent disturbance to redds for T,E,P species 
AQ-S5 1 Manage livestock to minimize impacts on redds for C & S species 

Water Quality 

AQ-0 13 Maintain and improve water quality 

AQ-S52 Maintain water quality In Outstanding Resource Waters 
AQ-S53 Comply with state or tribal anti-degradation requirements 
AQ-S54 Comply with TMDLs in Water Quality Limited segments 

AQ-S55 Incorporate state WQLS priority lists into intergovernmental prioritization process 
AQ-S56 Adjust activities to meet water quality standards 
AQ-0 14 Develop management actions supported by EAWS to restore WQLS 

Terrestrial and Aquatic Species and Habitats 

HA-0 1 Restore and/or maintain and habitat conditions 

Viable populations 

HA-02 Provide habitat for viable populations, recovery of listed spp, social needs 

HA-S 1 Manage habitats for long-term viability, especially edge of range 

HA-S2 Management to restore vegetation composition, linkage, patch size 

HA-S3 Restore/maintain habitats for free movement between habitat blocks 

HA-S4 Improve/restore linkages at known habitat bottlenecks 

HA-S5 Develop mature/old forest structural definitions 

HA-S6 Analysis and strategies for mature/old structure stands 

HA-S7 Use local analysis to develop snag levels 

HA-S8 Use local analysis to develop downed wood levels 

HA-S9 Manage firewood programs consistent with snag and downed wood standards 

HA-SIO Restore mountain mahogany, bitterbrush, quaking aspen 

HA-S 1 1 Restore native plants on important wild ungulate winter range 

HA-S 1 2 Protect bat roost sites and hibernacula 



Protection/Restoration of Listed Species Habitats 

HA-03 Restore or protect habitat for listed species; manage habitat to prevent listing 

HA-S 1 3 Manage habitats to recover special status species, prevent listings 
HA-04 Manage rangelands for special status species habitat requirements 

HA-05 Provide for continued existence and long-term conservation of species 



Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 

Recovery of Federally Listed Aquatic and Terrestrial Species 

HA-06 Contribute to range-wide recovery of federally listed or proposed species 

HA-S14 Implement recovery plans, document departures 

HA-S15 Apply standards & guides from recovery documents for raptors 

HA-S 1 6 Adopt IGBC grizzly bear resource management guidelines/situations 

HA-S 1 7 Management activities consistent with IGBC access management recommendations 

HA-S 18 Habitat mapping/cum effects in high road density recoveiy areas 

HA-S 1 9 Evaluate IGBC strategy for reducing grizzly bear mortalities, Selkirk and Cabinet/Yaak 

Wildlife and Livestock Conflicts 

HA-07 Management practices to reduce conflicts: livestock / carnivores & bighorn / domestic sheep 

HA-S20 Minimize conflicts between carnivores and livestock mgt. practices 
HA-S2 1 Reduce potential disease transmission between bighorn / domestic sheep 

Human Uses and Values 

Collaboration 

HU-0 1 Foster support of decisions by promoting collaboration - broad range 

HU-02 Foster support of decisions by promoting collaboration - intergovernmental 

HU-S 1 Initiate MOU to offer advice to federal land managers 

Economic Activity 

HU-03 Derive soc/econ benefits, promote commercial activities 

HU-04 Efficiently deliver goods and service from FS/BLM-administered lands 

HU-05 Minimize large annual shifts in commercial activity 

HU-06 Emphasize customary economic uses in rural communities 

HU-07 Contribute to economic diversity /local economic development goals 

HU-08 Collaborate with local entities for compatibility of land uses 

HU-09 Reduce risk of life/property loss due to wildfire; decrease costs 

HU-S2 Involve locals in development of coordinated fuel management plans 

Recreation Opportunities 

HU-0 10 Supply recreation opportunities consistent with public policies/abilities 

HU-S3 Use ROS to meet recreation management goals 

HU-0 1 1 Identify opportunities to provide public access for recreation 
HU-0 12 Foster and strengthen partnerships to manage facilities & services 
HU-013 Meet visual quality objectives 
HU-0 1 4 Maintain or enhance scenic integrity 

Cultural Resources 

HU-S4 Survey and evaluate significance of federal lands for cultural resources 

HU-S5 Evaluate and nominate sites to NRHP 

HU-S6 Assess site-specific projects for effects on cultural resources 

Transportation and Utility Corridors 

HU-0 1 5 Ensiu-e reliable and buildable utility corridors 

HU-S7 Use 1993 Western Regional Utility Corridor Study as reference 

HU-0 16 Ensure access essential for corridor infrastructure maintenance 

HU-S8 Provide access to and maintenance of existing utility ROW 

HU-0 17 Encourage integrated ROW vegetation management to minimize impacts 



:J)escripi^Mm^li&$^S 



Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 



Federal Trust Responsibility and Tribal Rights and Interests 
Govemment-to-Govemment Cooperation and Relations 



TI-Ol 



TI-02 



Maintain govemment-to-govemment relationship with affected tribes 

TI-S 1 Use consistent approach to govemment-to-government consultation 

TI-S2 Agreements with tribal governments regarding repatriation procedures 

TI-S3 Recognize tribal management efforts and work cooperatively 

TI-S4 Cooperate with tribes to restore/research treaty/trust resources 

Assess sense of place and incorporate into management 
TI-S5 Complete place assessments as part of ecosystem analysis 



Habitat Conditions 

TI-03 Recognize native plemt communities as traditional resources 

TI-S6 Establish programs for restoration /maintenance of native plant communities 

TI-S7 Provide habitat conditions to support harvestable resources 

TI-S8 Consider protection/restoration of treaty resources on ceded lands 

TI-S9 Assess habitat where it has social/ traditional importance 

TI-S 1 Adopt aquatic conservation strategy 

TI-S 1 1 Least restrictions on tribes to implement ESA conservation measures 



Road Management 

RM-Ol Cooperate with partners on road design, operations, maintenance 

Road-related Adverse Effects 



RM-02 



Reduce road-related adverse effects 

RM-S 1 Reduce road-related adverse effects 

RM-S2 Timber and livestock priority areas: management actions to not increase erosion, 

sediment 
RM-S3 Conduct Road Condition/Risk Assessment 

RM-S4 Develop or revise Access and Travel management plans 

RM-S5 Reduce effects on aquatic, riparian, terrestral species and habitats 

RM-S6 Determine habitat effectiveness ratings to reduce risk caused by human access 

RM-S7 Design and improve culverts to accommodate 1 00-year floods 



Road Density 

RM-03 Reduce road density where roads have adverse effects 

RM-S8 Decrease road miles in High and Extreme road density classes 

RM-S9 Use existing transportation networks in High & Extreme classes 

Road Construction 

RM-04 New road construction to prevent or minimize adverse effects 

RM-S 1 Roads and landings should be outside RCAs 

I?M-S11 Timber and livestock priority areas: no roads within 150' ofactive channel margins 

RM-S 12 Maintain/restore fish passage, spawning, etc. 

RM-S 13 Avoid high hazard areas, prevent sediment delivery to streams and RCAs 

RM-S 14 Prohibit side casting in RCAs 

RM-S15 Don't increase road density by more than one density class in areas with none/low/ 

very low road densities 
RM-S 16 No road construction in reserves or unroaded areas > 1 ,000 acres 



Index to Objectives and Standards in Table 3-5 (continued) 

Adaptive Management / Monitoring 

Adaptive Management 

AM-0 1 Make appropriate adjustments in management strategies 

AM-S 1 Use adaptive management principles 

AM-S2 AdJ ustments to 'reserve' boundaries 

Monitoring 

AM-02 Monitor changes in conditions and take action to meet ecosystem managment goals 

AM-S3 Develop integrated intergovernmental monitoring and evaluation protocol 

AM-S4 Implement annual monitoring programs at various scales 

AM-S5 Critical monitoring shall be implemented Immediately 

AM-S6 Update riparian monitoring within grazing allotments 

AM-S7 Use monitoring to modify management actions to achieve objectives 



Accountability 



A-0 1 Line officers are accountable for implementation 

A-S 1 State Directors/Regional Foresters ensure accountability 

A-S2 Develop interagency implementation MOU 

A-S3 Provide opportunities for participation in Implementation oversight 

A-S4 Implement accountable, measurable standards 



Environmental Co, 



Environmental 
Consequences 

The Science Integration Team (SIT) was directed 
by the Project Charter to assess, based on the 
best information available, the tradeoffs, 
consequences, outcomes, and interactions 
associated with each alternative. To the extent 
possible, the evaluations linked the biological, 
cultural, social, and economic concerns at 
various scales. The EIS team developed the array 
of alternatives and a set of evaluation criteria 
based on the Purpose and Need statement, the 
issues, and the goals. Outcomes of each 
alternative were evaluated relative to (a) 
maintaining and/or restoring forest, rangeland, 
riparian, and aquatic health and productivity; (b) 
maintaining economic, social, and cultural 
systems; and (c) contributing to meeting federal 
trust responsibilities to American Indian tribes. 

Summary of Key Effects 
and Conclusions 

Physical Aspects of the Ecosystem 

Soils and Soil Productivity 

♦ In forestlands, Alternative 6 has the highest 
likelihood of reducing soil disturbances from 
current, followed closely by Alternatives 4 
then 3, then by Alternatives 5,2.7 and 1 . 
Because of the uncertainty associated with 
Alternative 7, reduction of soil disturbance 
could range from low to high, and could trend 
towards high in the long term. In rangelands. 
Alternative 3 has the highest likelihood of 
reducing soil disturbance from current, 
followed closely by Alternatives 5 and 6, then 
4. Alternative 7 has a moderate likelihood of 
reducing soil disturbance from current, 
followed by Alternative 2. Alternative 1 is 
likely to increase soil disturbance from 
current levels, due largely to the Increase in 
exotic plant invasion. Alternative 7 would 
have the highest likelihood of restoring 
floodplain and riparian soil functions in 
rangelands because the level of grazing 
disturbance would be about half that of the 
other alternatives. Actual effects on soil 
productivity from soil disturbance will 



depend on the type, extent, and method of 
disturbance, and existing condition of thesoil 
and vegetation — all factors that cannot be 
adequately characterized at this scale. 

♦Alternatives 4 and 6 would have a higher 
likelihood of restoring and conserving organic 
matter and woody material to the soil 
ecosystem than the other alternatives 
because of the required minimum levels of 
coarse woody debris, and standing and 
downed large trees. Alternative 7 (inside 
reserves) would have highly variable levels of 
organic matter and wood because of 
unpredictable fire effects, but levels are 
expected to approach minimum 
requirements, particularly in the long term. 
Alternatives 3 and 5 are less likely to restore 
and conserve organic matter and woody 
material needed for sustainable soil 
productivity because of lower required 
minimums and the lack of large standing and 
downed trees. Amounts of organic matter 
and wood in Alternatives 1 and 2 are 
generally unspecified, and areas where soil 
productivity has declined due to loss of 
organic matter and coarse wood may 
continue to decline because of overall lack of 
consideration of soil requirements. 

♦Vegetation conditions similar to natural or 
historical range of variability, are more likely 
to maintain a stable and available nutrient 
supply, and thus sustain soil productivity 
and reduce risk of nutrient loss from 
uncharacteristic fire. Alternatives 3, 4, 5, 
and 6 are likely to result, more quickly, in 
achieving vegetation conditions similar to the 
historical range of variability, both in the 
short term and long term. An exception is 
Alternative 3, which may show greater 
departure of some forested landscapes from 
the historical range of variability. 
Alternatives 1 , 2, and 7 have less emphasis 
than the other alternatives in achieving 
vegetation conditions similar to the historical 
range of variability, and consequently are 
less likely to result in sustainable soil and 
nutrient conditions; while Alternative 7 is 
fairly similar to Alternatives 3 through 6 in 
rangelands, it would not be as effective in 
reducing exotic weeds. Alternatives 1 and 2 
would likely result in continuing and 
increasing departures of forested landscapes 
from the historical range of variability in 
forestlands and would not be effective in 
arresting the spread of exotics in rangelands. 



i^^JfJir-O^J^; SJ-iWMHWlfrfttCJ)! 



♦Alternative 4 provides the highest levels of 
watershed restoration and road closures that 
would restore hydrologic and soil function. 
Alternative 3, followed by Alternative 6, then 
Alternative 5 have fairly high levels of 
restoration focused at restoring hydrologic 
and soil function. Alternative 7 has high 
levels of road closures, but because it takes 
a more passive approach to restoration, it is 
anticipated that the majority of closures 
would only block access and, therefore, may 
present a higher risk to soil and hydrologic 
function in the short term than if they 
remained open. Alternative 5 wouldresult in 
less watershed restoration and road closures 
that restore hydrologic and soil function than 
Alternatives 3.4,6, and 7; Alternatives 1 and 2 
would have much lower levels than the other 
alternatives. Consequently, Alternatives 1 and 
2 are not expected to improve soil and 
hydrologic function where It has declined. 
Where watershed and road restoration is focused 
in riparian areas , and where riparian vegetative 
cover is increased, floodplain and riparian area 
soils are most likely to improve. 

Air Quality 

♦The dispersion modeling assessment 
indicates that there may be significantly 
greater impacts from wildfires than from 
prescribed burning. However, due to 
limitations of this analysis, comparison of the 
model estimates with the National Ambient 
Air Quality Standards is not possible. 
Compliance of prescribed burning impacts 
with the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards should be evaluated at a 
subsequent planning level . 

♦ Increased haziness (a reduction in viewing 
distance and ability to detect finer features 
on the landscape) would likely result from 
the increases in prescribed burning 
proposed in Alternatives 3 through 7. Large 
wildfires result in more of the project area 
affected by haze. It can be inferred that the 
higher concentrations of emissions 
associated with these wildfires would reduce 
visibility in affected areas more so than the 
highest levels of prescribed fire. However, a 
higher frequency of visibility impacts would 
result from prescribed fire than wildfire. 

♦ Other criteria pollutants are not likely to 
have an impact on public health because of 
the small levels produced and the rapid 



dilution or modification of these substances 
within relatively short time frames. However, 
the potential effects of air pollutants 
impacting plants and animals on public lands 
could be mitigated by managing to minimize 
stress and through monitoring. The effects of 
alternatives on landscape health provide an 
indicator for reducing stress on plant and 
animal habitats with Alternatives 3,4,6, and 
7 having the greatest ability, and Alternatives 
1,2, and 5 providing almost no improvement 
in landscape health that would reduce 
stress. Monitoring and prediction of 
potential effects with feedback to the EPA 
would be best addressed under Alternatives 
6,4, and 3 respectively, with 7 and 5 at 
moderate levels, and 2 and 1 at the lowest 
levels. 

Terrestrial Aspects of the 
Ecosystem 

Effects on Trends on Forestlands 

♦ Overall, Alternatives 4 and 6 would be most 
effective in changing forest conditions to a 
more desirable pattern of forest structural 
stages and composition. They would reverse 
these current undesirable trends: high 
amounts of mid-seral in the dry and moist 
forests, high amounts of late-seral multi- 
layer in the dry and moist forests, less late- 
seral single-layer in the dry forests, fewer 
large trees and shade-intolerant species. 
Alternatives 3 and 5 would have slower 
transitions than Alternatives 4 and 6. They 
would be less effective in restoring desirable 
structure and composition on the landscape. 
Alternatives 1,2, and 7 would be the least 
effective overall in reversing current 
declining trends in forest health. 

♦All alternatives would reduce the amount of 
late-seral multi-layer in the dry and moist 
forests within 100 years. Alternative 1 
would result in the greatest reduction in the 
amount of late-seral multi-layer in the dry 
and moist forests. In the short and long term 
under Alternatives 2 and 7, the amount of 
late-seral multi-layer in the dry and moist 
forests would be greater than that 
historically. 

♦Alternatives 1 and 2 would lead to reductions 
in interior ponderosa pine, western larch, 
and western white pine. 



♦Alternatives 3 through 7 (outside reserves) 
would lead to increases in late-seral single- 
layer in the dry forests and increases in 
interior ponderosa pine, western larch, 
western white pine, and large tree 
components in the short and long term. 

♦Alternatives 3 through 7 would reduce the 
amount of mid-seral in the moist forests. 
Alternatives 1 and 2 would have relatively 
greater increases in this community in the 
long term. 

Effects on Trends Toward Desired Conditions 
in Forested Potential Vegetation Groups 

♦ In the long term, forested potential vegetation 
groups would move toward the desired range 
of future condition more effectively under 
Alternatives 3, 4, 5, and 6 than under 
Alternatives 1,2, and 7. 

Effects on Successional and Disturbance 
Processes Across the Project Area 

♦ In Alternatives 1,2, and 5 (in timber priority 
areas), young forest structures would tend to 
be relatively more uniform in spacing and 
size, with smaller patch sizes and lower 
representation of large tree components than 
for Alternatives 3, 4, 6, and 7. 

♦Alternatives 4 and 6 would result in young, 
mid-seral, and late-seral forest structures, 
composition, and disturbance patterns that 
are more similar to historical conditions than 
the other alternatives. These alternative 
would be the most successful in restoring 
western larch, western white pine, interior 
ponderosa pine, whitebark pine, alpine larch, 
and large tree components. 

♦Alternatives 3 and 7 (outside reserves) would 
result in a mixture of uniform and non- 
uniform tree size and spacing in the young 
forest stage. Alternative 7 (inside reserves) 
would result in uncharacteristically large 
patch sizes of young forest in the short term. 

♦Alternatives 1 and 2 would have more forests 
move from late-seral to mid-seral, and from 
mid-seral and late-seral single-layer to late- 
seral multi-layer forest structure than the 
other alternatives. These alternatives would 
result in forest structures and compositions 
that are most dissimilar to historical 
conditions. 



♦Alternatives 3 through 7 (outside reserves) 
would have higher transitions of mid- serai 
and late-seral multi-layer to late-seral single- 
layer in the dry forests than the other 
alternatives. 

Effects on Insects and Disease 

♦Alternatives 1 , 2, and 7 would produce forest 
structure and composition with the highest 
susceptibility to insects and disease. 

Effects on Fire Regimes 

♦ Under Alternatives 1,2, and 7 the amount of 
wildfire in dry and moist forests would be 
less than historical levels but the amount of 
crown fire in dry forests would approximate 
historical levels. Alternatives 3, 4, 5, and 6 
would have lower levels of wildfire than the 
other alternatives in all forest potential 
vegetation groups. 

Rangelands 

♦Alternatives 4 and 3 are predicted to be the 
most effective in reducing the spread of 
noxious weeds and cheatgrass on rangelands 
in the project area. Alternatives 6 and 7 
would be the next most effective, followed by 
Alternative 5, with Alternatives 2 and 1 being 
the least effective. No alternative was 
predicted to reduce the acres of infestations 
on dry grassland. Alternatives 3 and 4 were 
predicted to decrease the acres of noxious 
weed infestations, in general, on the dry and 
coolshrublands. Differences among 
alternatives would be due to differing 
management activity levels and the differing 
emphases of control efforts, related to the 
number of acres treated, location of 
treatment, and type of noxious weed species 
treated. Alternative 4 proposes the most 
acres of noxious weed control and the 
greatest emphasis of implementation of the 
integrated weed management strategy; 
therefore, it is projected to be the most 
effective alternative with regard to reducing 
the spread of noxious weeds and cheatgrass. 

♦Alternatives 4, 3, 6, and 7 are predicted to be 
the most effective in reducing the 
encroachment or density of woody species on 
rangelands in the project area. Alternative 5 
would be the next most effective, and 
Alternatives 2 and 1 would be the least 
effective. It is predicted that Alternative 4 



and possibly Alternative 3 would meet the 
desired range of future condition (DRFC) with 
regard to reducing woody species 
encroachment or density problems. 
Differences among alternatives would be due 
to differing management activity levels and 
differing emphases of control efforts, related 
to the number of acres treated and the 
location of treatment. Alternative 4 proposes 
the highest levels of prescribed burning and 
harvesting of woody species; therefore it is 
predicted to be the most effective with regard 
to reducing woody species encroachment or 
density. 

♦Alternatives 4, 3, and 6, respectively, are 
predicted to be the most effective in restoring 
rangeland vegetation in the project area. 
Alternative 7 would be the next most 
effective, followed by Alternative 5. 
Alternatives 2 and 1 would be the least 
effective. These alternatives would not have 
an effect on restoration of rangeland 
vegetation types on non-federal lands. The 
ranking of alternatives was based on their 
relative predicted ability to restore rangeland 
vegetation types that have been taken over by 
noxious weeds or by woody species, such as 
juniper, on BLM- or Forest Service- 
administered lands. Differences am.ong 
alternatives are due to similar factors as 
those for noxious weeds and woody species 
control. 

♦Alternatives 4 and 6 would be the most 
effective in reducing fragmentation and loss 
of connectivity on rangelands in the project 
area. Alternative 7 would be the next most 
effective, followed by Alternative 3. 
Alternatives 5,2, and 1 would be the least 
effective. Most restoration activities would 
be undertaken under Alternatives 3 through 
7 after consideration of fragmentation and 
connectivity issues. Standards and 
guidelines in Alternatives 4 and 6 would be 
the most effective in reducing fragmentation 
and loss of connectivity due to the 
implementation of management actions that 
reduce existingproblems and do not cause 
further problems . 

♦Alternatives 4, 6, and 7 are predicted to be 
the most effective in restoring slow-to- 
recover rangelands (not infested with exotics) 
in the project area. Alternative 3 would be 
the next most effective, followed by 
Alternative 5. Alternatives 2 and 1 v^'ould be 
the least effective. Restoration activities 



such as range vegetative improvements and 
livestock management improvements, would 
be the highest in Alternatives 3 and 4 (range 
improvements) and Alternatives 4 and 6 
(livestock management improvements) . 

♦Alternatives 7, 4, and 6 would be the most 
effective in reducing wildlife displacement 
and vulnerability to mortality on rangelands 
in the project area. Alternative 3 would be 
the next most effective, followed by 
Alternative 5. Alternatives 2 and 1 would be 
the least effective. Differences among 
alternatives are due to relative effects of road 
closure, road use, and human activity. 
Alternative 7 would reduce wildlife 
displacement and vulnerability to mortality 
through existence of the reserves. 

♦The amount of wildfire would be much less 
than historical levels on rangelands because 
of fire exclusion, with the exception of the dry 
shrub potential vegetation group in 
Alternatives 1,2, and 7. For all range 
potential vegetation groupsAltematives 3, 4, 
5, and 6 would have lower levels of wildfire than 
the other alternatives. 

Terrestrial Species 

♦ Currently there are 62 species in the 
Eastside planning area with unfavorable 
habitat outcomes (Outcome Class 4 or 5). 
Implementation of Alternatives 4,6, and 7 
would result in 4 1 , 4 1 , and 45 species with 
unfavorable habitat outcomes; and Alternatives 3, 
5, 2, and 1 would result in 55, 56, 57, and 59 
species with unfavorable outcomes. 

♦ On average. Alternatives 4, 6, and 7 would 
provide the highest likelihood of species 
persistence and viability over the next 1 00 
years. These alternatives emphasize 
restoration of habitats, which would likely 
reverse negative trends for most species 
because of improved management, riparian 
emphasis, and proposed activities that would 
have varying degrees of positive effects on 
some habitats and species. 

♦Alternative 1 would result in the highest 
number of species with increased risk of 
extirpation or loss of viability because it 
lacks the increased emphasis on restoration 
offorestland, rangeland, and riparian 
habitats of the other alternatives. 

♦Alternatives 4, 6, and 7 would result in more 
species with improved likelihood of 



persistence than with increased risks of 
extirpation, due to improved habitat 
conditions through restoration of uplands 
and riparian communities. 

♦Alternatives 1 and 5 would result in more 
species with increased risk of extirpation or 
viability loss than with improved likelihood of 
persistence and viability. Activity levels 
expected under these alternatives would 
result in higher levels of traditional 
management, which is assumed to result in 
some risk to species. 

♦Alternatives 3 and 7 would result in an 
approximately equal number of species with 
increased risks of extirpation and improved 
likelihood of persistence and viability, due in 
part to the intermediate levels of restoration in 
upland and riparian communities. 

♦Alternatives 1, 2, and 5 would result in more 
species with increased risk of extirpation 
than with improved likelihood of persistence 
and viability. Activity levels expected under 
these alternatives would result in higher 
levels of habitat modification, which is 
assumed to result in some risk to species. 

♦ Human access and its direct and indirect 
effects on wildlife species are most 
appropriately addressed at finer scales. 
However, in relative terms. Alternatives 6 
and 7 would result in lower levels of human 
activity and therefore lower impact levels. 
Alternatives 1 and 5 are predicted to have 
the highest levels of human activity and 
therefore the highest level of impacts to 
wildlife from access and related activities. 
Alternatives 2,3, and 4 would result in 
intermediate levels of impacts associated 
with access. 

♦ Grizzly bear and Columbian sharp-tailed 
grouse have undergone the greatest change 
in habitat conditions, from historical to 
current times. Historically both species 
were widely distributed: however, current 
habitat for both species is greatly reduced, 
and populations are isolated. Non-federal 
lands will continue to limit populations of 
these species. 

♦ Implementation of any alternative except 
Alternative 1 would result in improved 
chances of persistence and viability for a few 
species ("increasers"). 

♦ Implementation of any alternative would 
result in some risk of extirpation or reduced 
habitat outcomes for some species 



("decreasers"), because of cumulative effects 
on all lands. 

♦ Under Alternatives 1 and 5, if a species were 
trending toward extirpation based on the 
changes from historical to current 
conditions, that trend would be continued. 
In comparison, under Alternatives 4 and 6, 
predicted negative trends in habitat would 
tend to be stopped or slowed down. 

♦There would be little change in overall 
outcomes for the majority of species analyzed 
under any alternative. This result is based 
on current and projected future populations 
and habitat conditions, and on the fact that 
most species respond to habitat changes at 
finer scales than this evaluation portrays. 

♦ None of the alternatives approach historical 
conditions (habitats or population) for the 

1 19 vertebrate and 22 plant species 
analyzed. I^ss of habitat both on and off 
federal land contributes to this condition. 

♦Threatened or endangered plants would have 
outcomes indicating a risk of extirpation or 
viability loss, primarily due to reduced 
habitat conditions and availability and to 
limited population sizes, compared to 
historical conditions. No alternative would 
change this condition because many of these 
plants are locally endemic with little chance 
to expand habitat or populations and are 
difficult to analyze at this scale. However, 
protection will be provided for these species 
under provisions in the Endangered Species 
Act and recovery and conservation plans. 

♦ Habitats of threatened or endangered wildlife 
species do not demonstrate a substantial 
change in any alternative at the broad scale of 
analysis. The one exception is the bald eagle, 
which shows an improved likelihood of 
persistence and viability under Alternatives 4 
and 6 due to riparian emphases. 

♦ Major exceptions to this list of summary 
findings are those for woodland birds. 
Alternatives 4 and 6 would result in the least 
favorable outcomes for woodland birds, because 
of proposed reductions in extent of juniper 
woodlands, in which the reduced extent would 
more closely approximate the historical range of 
variability. 



Effects on Aquatic Systems 

Aquatic Aspects of the Ecosystem 

♦ Specific outcomes (such as water quantity, water 
quality, instream and riparian area habitat 
conditions) from the alternatives pertaining to 
lakes, streams, rivers, and riparian areas and 
wetlands were not predictable without site- 
specific NEPA analysis. 

♦ In Alternatives 1 and 2, ecosystem 
management would not be emphasized, and 
there would not likely be watershed-scale 
consideration and protection of hydrologic and 
riparian area/wetland processes and functions. 
This would likely result in continued 
degradation of lakes, streams, and rivers. 

♦ In Alternatives 3 through 7, ecosystem 
management would be emphasized, thus 
facilitating management for multiple 
ecological goals and long-term ecological 
sustainability on a landscape basis. 
Ecosystem management would provide a 
mechanism to effectively prioritize activities 
and weigh multiple risks to various 
resources. Furthermore, ecosystem 
management direction in Alternatives 3 
through 7 would more readily foster 
implementation of adaptive management and 
analysis of cumulative effects than the 
approaches of Alternatives 1 and 2. It is 
expected that these features of Alternatives 3 
through 7 would aid in overall improvement 
in lakes, streams, rivers, and riparian areas 
and wetlands. 

♦Alternative 4, with its higher activity levels, 
could pose greater short-term risks to 
aquatic ecosystems than would the slower 
activity rates and amounts of Alternative 6 
and the restrictive and passive approach of 
Alternative 7, although lack of watershed and 
road restoration in Alternative 7 could pose 
greater risks to aquatic ecosystems in the 
long term. 

♦Watershed restoration levels would be 
greatest for Alternatives 4 and 6 and are 
expected to result in greater long- and short- 
term benefits to lakes, streams, rivers, 
riparian areas, and wetlands compared to 
other alternatives. However, greater 
uncertainty would be associated with 
Alternative 4, because requirements for 
Ecosystem Analysis at the Watershed Scale 
are less and therefore the context to reduce 



risk and maximize potential benefitsfrom 
restoration actions may not be provided. 

♦ In Alternatives 3 through 7, adjustment of 
standards supported by Ecosystem Analysis 
at the Watershed Scale in concert with broad- 
scale planning and sub-basin review would 
likely meet the intent of ecosystem 
management and integration of landscape, 
terrestrial, aquatic, and social objectives. 
Alternatives 4, 5, and 6 would offer more 
flexibility than Alternative 7 with respect to 
activities permitted in riparian areas and 
wetlands. Alternative 6 would provide the 
most management options because site- 
specific NEPA analysis could be used in 
some areas for up to four years to adjust 
ICBEMP standards. This adjustment process 
would maximize opportunities for adaptive 
management. Since less hierarchial analysis 
would be required in Alternative 4, 
implementation of restoration actions would 
occur faster than in other alternatives. 
However, uncertainty of meeting the intent of 
ecosystem management and integration of 
objectives would be greater than Alternative 
6 because of the lack of incentive to modify 
and integrate objectives and standards that 
fit watershed-scale processes and functions. 
There would also be risks associated with the 
lack of active landscape and watershed 
restoration in Alternative 7, especially in the 
long term. 

♦Alternatives 2 through 7 would adequately 
protect ecological functions within riparian 
areas and wetlands except for the timber 
priority areas of Alternative 5. Within timber 
priority areas of Alternative 5, the size of the 
riparian conservation areas would not likely 
be adequate to fully protect aquatic 
resources, primarily because of their limited 
widths and lack of protection for intermittent 
streams. Within livestock priority areas of 
Alternative 5 (including large parts of the 
Northern GreatBasin, Columbia Plateau, and 
Owyhee Uplands ERUs), priority areas for 
protection of riparian areas would not be 
established. Even so, to meet proper 
functioning condition objectives within 
timber and livestock priority areas, 
degradation of riparian areas would cease 
and some restoration would begin. 

♦ Alternative 1 would have no consistent 
planning-area-wide direction for riparian area 
protection and is predicted to not adequately 
protect riparian functions. 






ijBmiimnmje^^ 



Effects on Aquatic Species 

♦The current composition, distribution, and 
status of most native fish species within the 
planning area would remain stable under 
Alternative 2 and remain stable or improve 
under Alternatives 3, 6, and 7. The greatest 
potential for improvement occurs with 
Alternatives 6 and 7. Alternative 4 has 
similar potential to benefit native species as 
Alternatives 6 and 7, but uncertainty in the 
ability to prioritize management actions and 
evaluate risks, coupled with high levels of 
activities, decreases confidence in successful 
ecological outcomes. Improvements in 
distribution and status are linked to levels of 
watershed and riparian restoration and other 
management activities within the species' 
current range. Most native fishes' 
distribution and status would continue to 
decline under Alternatives 1 and 5 inside 
timber and livestock priority areas due to 
inconsistent and inadequate riparian and 
aquatic protection measures in all or part of 
species' current ranges. 

♦ Benefits of any alternative are linked to 
improved instream and riparian conditions 
resulting from better riparian management, 
higher levels of watershed and riparian 
restoration, and Ecosystem Analysis at the 
Watershed Scale. Successful ecological 
outcomes from Alternatives 4 and 6 depend 
on efficient prioritization of restoration 
actions and maximizing adaptive 
management to minimize risk. Alternative 7 
could pose risks to isolated and fragmented 
populations because of the lack of active 
forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration, 
raising uncertainty about long-term 
improvements in the more depressed and 
fragmented portions of species' ranges. 

♦Alternatives 1 , 2, and 5 would result in the 
continued decline in the overall status and 
distribution of steelhead and stream- type 
Chinook salmon stocks due to a minimal 
emphasis on restoration and continued land 
disturbance in portions of the current range 
over the long term. None of the alternatives 
address the need for a comprehensive 
approach to alleviate mortality outside BLM- 
or Forest Service-administered lands to 
ensure persistence and viability of steelhead 
or stream-type chinook salmon stocks. 

♦ Downstream stresses associated with the 
hydropower system are one of the major 



causes of declining Snake River anadromous 
fish populations (NPPC 1986; NMFS 1992). 
Federal efforts are underway to address 
these problems through increased spill, 
barging, and monitoring. Mid-Columbia 
anadromous stocks (for example, John Day 
and Deschutes Rivers) are influenced less by 
hydropower due to a lower number of dams 
below spawning and rearing areas. 
Maintenance of high-quality habitats is vital 
to the persistence of populations, but the 
magnitude of effects varies from sub-basin to 
sub-basin. In general, it remains important 
to restore degraded watersheds where 
habitat is most limiting to fish, to improve 
egg-to-smolt survival over current 
conditions. High-quality habitat alone, 
however, is no guarantee of increased 
persistence without a comprehensive 
approach that addresses all mortality factors. 
Additional high quality habitat alone could 
increase abundance of individual fish, but it 
would not likely reverse current negative 
population trends in the short-term. Salmon 
population numbers in much of the interior 
Columbia Basin are far below what current 
habitat conditions could likely support under 
a scenario of increased downriver survival. 

♦ None of the alternatives would be expected to 
measurably affect the habitat needs of ocean- 
type Chinook salmon because they inhabit 
lower-elevation mainstem river habitats that are 
less responsive to federal land management. 
Alternatives 6 and 7 have the most conservative 
approach and might result in some benefit to 
ocean-type chinook salmon if management 
actions improve water quality and quantity. 
None of the alternatives address the need for a 
comprehensive approach to alleviate mortality 
outside BLM- or Forest Service-administered 
lands to ensure persistence and viability of 
ocean-type chinook salmon stocks. 

Human Uses and Values 

♦Alternatives involving substantial change 
from current direction, especially if different 
from conventional management strategies, 
would likely be less predictable in their 
outcomes in the short term. In the long 
term, predictability would improve as 
experience is gained and new strategies are 
proven effective. Alternatives 4,6, and 7, 
which emphasize restoring ecosystems by 
managing for more desirable and predictable 
disturbance regimes, would likely experience 



less short-term predictability in the deliveiy 
of services so that long-term predictability is 
improved. Alternatives 1 and 2 maybe more 
predictable in the short term but would 
result in future disturbance regimes that are 
less predictable. Alternatives 3 and 5 may 
lie somewhere in between. 

^Active restoration actions at the wildland- 
urban interface to reduce fire-related risks 
may increase risk of unintended 
disturbances in the short term. This would 
apply especially to Alternatives 4, 3, and 6. 
With successful restoration results, long- 
term risk in these areas should drop below 
current levels. However, a policy of lowering 
risk at the wildland-urban interface through 
public investments by the Forest Service and 
BLM may encourage more private 
investments and incursions in this zone, 
which could further increase risks to people 
and property. 

♦The current trend in livestock grazing shows 
a decline of 7 percent per decade. Only 
Alternative 5 would be expected to lessen 
this decline. Alternatives 2,3,4, and 6 
would show a slight additional decline, with 
little difference among them. Alternative 7 
would show the greatest decline because of 
restricted livestock grazing in resei"ves. 

♦Alternatives 1,3,4,5, and 6 would show a 
first decade increase in timber volume 
harvested relative to the past few years. All 
alternatives would produce less than the 10- 
year average harvest level. All alternatives 
would show harvest volume outputs less 
than the combined National Forest allowable 
sale quantity value. 

♦Alternatives 3, 4, 6 and 7 would establish an 
extensive network of Riparian Conservation 
Areas (RCAs) that would likely result in a 
reduction in the suitable timber base and 
long-term sustained yield on National 
Forests. The extent and configuration of RCAs 
could also constrain operations in areas 
available for timber production and forest 
areas targeted for restoration treatments. 

♦ Planned restoration activities would generate 
jobs — fewer than wood products 
manufacturing but more than ranching. 
Alternatives 4. 3, and 6 would concentrate a 
larger proportion of total restoration 
investments (and jobs) at the wildland-urban 
interface (generally areas with high socio- 
economic resiliency) than other alternatives. 



It is inferred that economically vulnerable 
areas (low socio-economic resiliency) would 
benefit proportionally less (in terms of jobs) 
under these alternatives. 

♦ Recreation opportunities on Forest Servicc- 
and BLM-administered lands in the project 
area would not vary measurably by 
alternative, but some trends are evident. A 
slight shift would be expected from primitive- 
type use to roaded natural-type use where 
areas with very low road densities experience 
more road development. This outcome is 
most likely in Alternatives 1 and 5. There 
could be a small reduction in dispersed 
roaded recreation caused by road density 
reductions in Alternatives 3, 4, 5, and 6. with 
a substantial reduction in Alternative 7. 
There could be reduced opportunity for 
water-based recreation because of potential 
access restrictions associated with new 
standards for RCAs, especially in 
Alternatives 3 through 7. 

♦ Changes in the economic resiliency of counties 
or communities resulting from implementing 
alternatives cannot be reliably predicted at this 
broad scale. The current economic 
vulnerability of counties can be determined and 
used to infer potential future effects. Ai-eas 
identified as economically vulnerable (using a 
measure like socioeconomic resiliency) would 
benefit most economically from more 
management activities and from concentrating 
activities in these areas. Alternatives 1,3, and 
5 maybe most responsive to this need. 
Economically vulnerable areas are expected to 
bear the most social and economic costs of 
changing land management strategies because 
they tend to be more economically reliant on 
employment in natural resource industries. 

American Indians and Tribes 

♦ Generally, Alternatives 3,4,6. and 7 would 
provide the best response to agency need for 
appropriate levels of government- to- 
govemment consultation. This is expected 
given that Alternatives 1 and 2 would not 
address the inconsistencies in tribal 
consultation between agency administrative 
units or emphasize a more effective 
consultation process as found in Alternatives 3 
through 7. Also, Alternatives 5 and 7 would 
limit opportunities for consultation and access 
to agency policy-making by providing up-front 
structure to management decisions through 
identified priority (Alternative 5) or reserve 
(Alternative 7) areas. Alternatives 4, 6, and 7 






appear to be most responsive to federal trust 
responsibilities and tribal rights and interests, 
as these alternatives would provide highest 
levels of habitat consideration for trust 
resources. 

♦Alternative 5 would provide fewer 
opportunities for collaboration or 
consultation with tribes because it makes 
decisions for management emphasis for 
different areas across the project area. 

♦Alternatives 3, 4, 6, and 7 would be most 
responsive to those issues of interest to 
tribes. This includes provisions for ethno- 
habitats and forculturally significant places 
and resources in management decisions. The 
collective reasons for this are based on how 
these alternatives would provide for: (a) a 
meaningful agency-tribal consultation process; 

(b) projections of ecological integrity trends; 
and (c) overall aquatic and terrestrial 
projections of identified tribal Interest species' 
habitats rated for viability concerns. 

♦Tribes share an over-riding concern and 
interest for healthy functioning ecosystems 
in the project areas, and for land 
management that would provide biophysical 
trends toward their socially desired range of 
future condition. Those alternatives that 
appear most responsive to such federal trust 
responsibilities and tribal rights and 
interests are Alternatives 3, 4, 6, and 7 as 
they would provide the highest levels of 
consideration for major ecosystem 
components, such as aquatic integrity; 
rangeland and forestland regulation 
processes, patterns, functions and 
structures; and hydrologic systems. 

♦The alternatives differ in the rate and degree 
at which trends in ecological integrity would 
occur due to a combination of factors 
including: (a) differing rates in application of 
aquatic and riparian habitat protections as 
found in Alternatives 2 through 7 and 
especially Alternatives 3, 4, 6, and 7; (b) 
method of land management activities; and 

(c) the primary factors contributing to 
composite ecological integrity and landscape 
ecology trends (see the Composite Ecological 
Integrity section) . These would benefit most 
under Alternatives 3, 4, 6. and 7. 



Effects on Ecological 
Integrity and Social/ 
Economic Resiliency 

♦ Summing across all the Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands within the planning 
area shows that the alternatives would provide 
very different outcomes in overall ecological 
integrity trends. 

♦Alternatives 3, 4, 6, and 7 would show mostly 
upward trends over time. These alternatives 
have consistent aquatic/riparian conservation 
strategies coupled with either passive or 
active restoration/conservation management 
emphasis. Restoration actions would focus 
on restoring biophysical processes, functions, 
structures, and patterns across the 
landscape. Alternatives 4 and 6 would show 
the highest upward trends. Alternative 7 
would have many upward trends but is also 
projected to show some downward trends in 
the reserves and in some unroaded areas. 
Over time, natural disturbance events such 
as fire, insects, and disease would tend to be 
of higher intensity and more unpredictable, 
especially within reserves. 

♦Alternatives 1, 2, and 5 are less focused on 
restoration of ecological processes, functions, 
structures, and patterns and would have less 
consistency in managing aquatic /riparian 
resources. They would also have less 
emphasis on reducing impacts from roads. 
Alternatives 1 and 5 would have more 
management emphasis on production, which 
can increase risks to aquatic, riparian, and 
terrestrial resources. Under these 
alternatives, many subbasins would become 
ecologicallystable over time, but many would 
also show downward trends. 



Managing Multiple Risks 
and Future Trends 

Alternatives 3 through 7 have more emphasis on 
recognizing these risks than Alternatives 1 and 2. 
Alternatives 4 and 6 would more actively respond 
to these multiple risks, especially in placing 
emphasis on hazard reductions from fire in 
concert with aesthetics and habitat needs. 
Alternative 7 would pose greater risks from 
wildfire, insect, and disease outbreaks in some 



areas, as natural disturbances may not always be 
contained within reserves. Alternative 5 places 
emphasis on these risks, but it would be a more 
variable response due to different levels of 
management priority throughout the planning area. 



€k)st Analysis of the 
Alternatives 



♦ Based on total annual implementation costs 
of the alternatives, it appears that 
Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 pr-esent the greatest 
relative increase in costs compared to 
Alternatives 1 and 2. Not all activities and 
costs which may or may not be directly or 
indirectly affected by the EIS were included 
in the cost calculation tables. For example, 
the annual cost estimate for Alternative 2 is 
substantially less than the total estimated annual 
budgets for the Forest Service and BLM. 

♦ Some requirements can be considered costs 
additional to current agency land 
management. For example, the costs of an 
Integrated Weed Management strategy for 
rangelands. Some costs represent no 
additional cost, rather a re-prioritizing of 
existing resources to meet the broad scale 
ecosystem objectives of an alternative. 

♦The sensitivity analysis estimated the costs 
and likelihood of funding of activities 
empahsized in each alternative. For example, 
an expensive new program would be highly 
sensitive, while a traditionally funded activity 
such as timber harvest would be low 
sensitivity. 

♦A comparison of alternatives shows that 
Alternative 1 would have the highest 
proportion of projected activities which may 
be least sensitive to funding, with 60 percent 
of the costs in the "low sensitivity" category 
for each alternative. At the other end of the 
spectrum. Alternative 7 would be the most 
sensitive to funding the "high" or "moderate to 
high" sensitivity categories. Alternatives 3, 4, 
and 6 would fall in the middle. 




^MS 



isim 



€ 





uc 



tion 



Contents 



Introduction 1 

Organization of the DEIS 1 

Background 4 

Proposed Action 5 

Purpose of and Need For Action 5 

Purpose 5 

Need 5 

Management Priorities 10 

Public Participation 10 

Notice of Intent 10 

Scoping Meetings 10 

Other Meetings, Briefings, Consultations 11 

Coordination with Other Governments 11 

What's Next in the Planning Process 12 

Planning Issues 12 

Issues, Concerns, and Other Planning Considerations Not Addressed in the 
Alternatives 15 

Decisions To Be Made 16 

Planning Considerations 16 

The ICBEMP Assessment and EIS Process 18 

New Information and the Adaptability of Plans 19 

Decisions That Will Be Made Through Tliis Planning Process 19 

Lands Affected by the Decision 21 

Factors Affecting Selection and Implementation of an Alternative 21 

Determination of Significance of Amendment Under the National Forest 

Management Act 25 

Planning Criteria Under BLM Planning Regulations 26 



J 



e 



Key Terms Used in Chapter 1 

Adaptive management ~ A type of natural resource management in which decisions are made as part of an on-going 
process. Adaptive management involves testing, monitoring, evaluation, and incorporating new knowledge into 
management approaches based on scientific findings and the needs of society. Results are used to modify 
management policy. 

Administrative unit ~ An area under the administration of one line officer, such as a District Ranger, Forest 
Supervisor, or Regional Forester in the Forest Service, and an Area Manager, District Manager or State Director in the 
Bureau of Land Management. 



=\ 



Biological diversity (biodiversity) 
in which they occur. 



The variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes 



Eastside Screens ~ Interim management direction establishing riparian, ecosystem, and wildlife standards for timber 
sales on Forest Service-administered lands in eastern Oregon and Washington. 

Ecological integrity ~ In general, ecological integrity refers to the degree to which all ecological components and their 
interactions are represented and functioning; the quality of being complete; a sense of wholeness. Absolute measures of 
integrity do not exist. Proxies provide useful measures to estimate the integrity of major ecosystem components (forestland, 
rangeland, aquatic, and hydrologic). Estimating these integrity components in a relative sense across the basin, aids in 
explaining current conditions and prioritizing future management. Thus, areas of high integrity would represent areas 
where ecological function and processes are better represented and functioning than areas rated as low integrity. 

Ecological processes ~ The flow and cycling of energy, materials, and organisms in an ecosystem. 

Ecosystem-based management ~ Scientifically based land and resource management that integrates ecological 
capabilities with social values and economic relationships, to produce, restore, or sustain ecosystem integrity and 
desired conditions, uses, products, values, and services over the long term. 

Ecosystem health (forest health, rangeland health, aquatic system health) ~ A condition where the parts and functions 
of an ecosystem are sustained over time and where the system's capacity for self-repair is maintained, such that goals 
for uses, values, and services of the ecosystem are met. 

INFISH ~ Interim Inland Native Fish Strategy for the Intermountain, Northern, and Pacific Northwest regions (Forest 
Service). 

Issue (planning) ~ A matter of controversy, dispute, or general concern over resource management activities or land 
uses. To be considered a "significant" EIS issue, it must be well defined, relevant to the proposed action, and within 
the ability of the agency to address through alternative management strategies. 

PACFISH ~ Interim strategy for managing Pacific anadromous fish-producing watersheds in eastern Oregon and 
Washington, Idaho, and portions of California. 

Planning area ~ Refers to either the Eastside EIS area or the Upper Columbia River Basin EIS area. 

Project area ~ refers to the entire Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) area, 
encompassing both EIS areas. 

Products and services ~ The various outputs, including on-site uses, produced from forest and rangeland resources. 

Resilience ~ (1) The ability of a system to respond to disturbances. Resiliency is one of the properties that enable the 
system to persist in many different states or successional stages. (2) In human communities, refers to the ability of a 
community to respond to externally induced changes such as larger economic forces. 

Restoration ~ Holistic, system-wide actions to modify an ecosystem to achieve a desired, healthy, and functioning 
condihon. Generally refers to the process of compensating for disturbances on an ecosystem so that the system can 
resume acting, or continue to act, as if those disturbances were absent. Ecological restoration includes well-laid plans 
and is targeted toward a specific historical ecosystem model. 

Scoping ~ the early stages of preparation of an environmental impact statement, used to solicit public opinion, receive 
comments and suggestions, and determine the issues to be considered in the EIS analysis. 

Sustainability ~ (1) Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the abilities of future generations to meet 
their needs; emphasizing and maintaining the underlying ecological processes that ensure long-term productivity of 
goods, services, and values without impairing productivity of the land. (2) In commodity production, refers to the 
yield of a natural resource that can be produced continually at a given intensity of management. 

Viable Population ~ A population that is regarded as having the estimated numbers and distribution of reproductive 
individuals to ensure that its continued existence is well distributed in the project area. 

For additional terms, see the Glossary. 



igmmmmM 



Introduction 



The Eastside Draft Environmental Impact Statement 
(DEIS) presents seven alternatives for managing 
lands administered by the Forest Service or Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) in eastern Oregon and 
Washington. It is part of the Interior Columbia 
Basin Ecosystem Management Project, which was 
initiated for the following reasons: 

♦To identify existing or emerging resource 
problems that transcend jurisdictional 
boundaries, such as forest health problems 
and declining salmon populations, and to 
propose potential solutions that can best be 
addressed on a large scale. 

♦To develop management strategies using a 
comprehensive, "big picture" approach, and 
disclose interrelated actions and cumulative 
effects using scientific methods in an open 
public process. 

♦To address certain large-scale issues, such as 
species viability and biodiversity, from a 
larger context using an interagency team. 
This method is more cost-effective than each BLM 
District and National Forest conducting 
independent efforts. 

♦To respond to President Clinton's July 1 993 
direction to develop a scientifically-sound, 
ecosystem-based management strategy for 
lands administered by the BLM or Forest 
Service east of the Cascade Crest. 

♦To replace interim management strategies 
(PACFISH, Inland Native Fish Strategy, and 
Eastside Screens) with a consistent 
management strategy. 

In response to these developments, management 
direction for Forest Service- and BLM-administered 
lands across parts of seven states in the Pacific 
Northwest was reexamined. TheDraft Eastside 
EIS provides a context for managers to make 
sound local decisions while considering effects, 
particularly cumulative effects, at a larger scale 
than individual administrative units (National 
Forests and Forest Service Ranger Districts; or 
BLM Districts and Resource Areas). 

Two environmental impact statements (EISs) were 
prepared for different portions of the area covered 
by the Interior Columbia River Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project (ICBEMP) , which is referred to 
in this EIS as the project area (see Map 1-1). 



♦The planning area for theEastside EIS 
includes land administered by the BLM or 
Forest Service in the interior Columbia River 
Basin, upper Klamath Basin, and northern 
Great Basin that lie east of the crest of the 
Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington. 
The Eastside EIS covers approximately 30 
million acres of agency-administered lands 
(see Map 1-2). 

♦The planning area for the Upper Columbia 
Riuer Basin EIS includes lands administered 
by the BLM or Forest Service in parts of 
Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, amd Utah 
that are drained by the Columbia and Snake 
Rivers. The Upper Columbia P^ver Basin EIS 
covers approximately 45 million acres of 
agency- administered lands. 

These Draft EISs were prepared concurrently, in 
a coordinated manner, and have the same seven 
alternatives. Each EIS reflects subregional 
differences in conditions and trends that exist in 
one area but not the other. The Record(s) of 
Decision for the Eastside EIS will provide 
direction only for public lands administered by 
the BLM or Forest Service in the planning area. 
The Eastside EIS makes no management 
decisions for any state, local (city or county), or 
private lands in eastern Oregon or Washington. 
Regulations, policies, or provisions made by state 
or local agencies, or private landowners will not 
be directly affected by decisions made in the 
Record(s) of Decision. 



Organization of the DEIS 

This chapter describes the proposed action, 
purpose of and need for the action, and the public 
involvement process, including planning issues. 
The last section describes the planning and 
decision framework for the Draft EIS, and 
subsequent Final EIS and Record(s) of Decision. 
Chapter 2 characterizes the existing condition of 
the planning area, including trends based on 
historical and current conditions. Seven 
alternative management strategies for agency- 
administered lands in the Eastside planning area 
are developed and described in Chapter 3, 
incorporating the latest scientific information. 
The possible environmental, social, and economic 
consequences of implementing each alternative 
are evaluated and displayed in Chapter 4. 
Chapter 5 lists the preparers of this document: 
and the tribes, agencies, and organizations that 






|^\a>i-lWj)^u^S!?a<im«k JWSfc^^^WMW 




CALIFORNIA 



Map 1-1. 

BLM & Forest Service 

Administered Lands 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



SO 100 130 km 



■■ 


forest Service Administered Lands 


5 


Columbia Plateau 


te - ,1 


BLM Administered Lands 




6 


Blue Mountains 


IfcgPisI 


Water 




7 


Northern Glaciated Mountains 


/s^ 


FJS Area Border 




8 


Lower Clark Fork 


J^^ 


Ecological Reporting Unit 


Border: 


9 


Upper Clark Fork 


1 


Northern Cascades 




10 


Owyhee Uplands 


2 


Southern Cascades 




tl 


Upper Snake 


3 


Upper Klamath 




■E 


Snake Headwaters 


4 


Northern Great Basin 




13 


Central Idaho Mountains 




50 100 km 



Map 1-2. 

BLM & Forest Service 

Administered Lands 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



^^^ Forest Service AdnilnisLered Lands 3 Upper Klamath 

! ■ ' ^ BLM Administered Lands 4 Northern Great Basin 

' 1 Water 5 Columbia Plateau 

^^ FIS Area Border 6 Blue Mountains 

•""^ Ecological Reporting Unit Border: 7 Northern Glaciated Mountains 

1 Northern Cascades 10 Owyhee Uplands 

2 ' - ' O Cities and Towns 









were consulted and coordinated with, and/or who 
were sent copies of the Draft Eastside EIS. The 
Glossary, References, and Index can be found at 
the end of the document. 



Background 



In the western portion of the Pacific Northwest, there 
has been a long-lasting controversy concerning 
management of old forests and associated species on 
federal lands. This controversy resulted in a gridlock 
of lawsuits, court rulings, appeals, and protests. 
The Northwest Forest Plan was completed in 1 994 to 
addi-ess those issues. 

In recent years, a similar controversy has been 
developing in the interior portion of the Pacific 
Northwest concerning management of old forests, 
anadromous fish species, riparian areas, and 
other resources on federal lands. The traditional 
approach of individual BLM and Forest Service 
offices addressing single resource issues has 
sometimes resulted in conflicting management 
direction among agencies and offices, as well as 
management of competing resource needs. The 
increasing number of appeals and lawsuits over 
BLM and Forest Service decisions reflect the 
public's dissatisfaction with the agencies' 
management of public lands. Interim strategies 
(PACFISH, Eastside Screens, and Inland Native 
Fish Strategy) , described later in this chapter, 
were put in place to preserve management options 
while long-term strategies were developed. 

In July 1993, President Clinton directed the 
Forest Service to "develop a scientifically sound 
and ecosystem-based strategy for management of 
eastside forests." The President's direction was 
part of his plan for ecosystem-based management 
in the Pacific Northwest. The strategy initially 
covered National Forest System lands east of the 
crest of the Cascade Range in Oregon and 
Washington. The BLM joined this effort in late 
1993. In July 1994 the BLM Director and Forest 
Service Chief decided to expand the project area 
further. A separate EIS Team was formed to 
jointly develop anecosystem-based management 
strategy for lands administered by the Forest 
Service or BLM in the upper Columbia River Basin. 
That strategy is presented in the Upper Columbia 
River Basin EIS. The area covered by both EISs is 
referred to as the "project area" in this document. 

To provide the appropriate context for development 
and implementation of these management strategies, 
the Chief of the Forest Service and Director of the 



BLM chartered an interagency team of federal 
scientists to meetPresident Clinton's direction. This 
team, referred to as the Science Integration Team, 
was directed to: study biophysical, economic, and 
social systems; examine current and historical 
conditions; and explore the probability that 
outcomes from cuixent practices and trends will be 
consistent with long-term maintenance of ecosystem 
health and processes. 

The Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project's Charter, signed January 
21, 1994, directed the Science Integration Team 
to develop three products: 

♦ A Framework ForEk:osysteTn Management 
in the Interior Columbia Basin including 
Portions of the Klamath and Great 
Basins, focusing on lands administered by 
the Forest Service or BLM. The Framework 
(Haynes et al. 1996) provides broad 
concepts and processes recommended for 
ecosystem analysis, planning, management, 
and monitoring at variousscales. The EIS 
processes are consistent with principles in 
the FVameu;or/c. 

♦An Integrated Scientific Assessment for 
Ekiosystem Management in the Interior 
Columbia Basin including Portions of 
the Klamath and Great Basins. The 

IntegratedAssessment (Quigley et al . 1 996a) 
examines historical and current biophysical, 
social, and economic systems on all lands, 
regardless of ownership. It discusses the 
probable outcomes of continuing current 
Forest Service and BLM management 
practices and trends. Information generated 
in thelntegratedAssessmentand associated 
Staff Area Reports (Assessment ofEcosystem 
Components in the Interior Columbia Basin 
and Portions of the Klamath and Great 
Basins [Quigley and Arbelbide 1997]) were 
used as the basis for developing both EISs. 

♦ E^valuation of ESS Alternatives by the 
Science Integration Team. TheEvaluation 
(Quigley et al. 1997) analyzes the effects and 
practicality of implementing each alternative 
management strategy. Outcomes of each 
alternative were evaluated relative to 
maintaining and/or restoring forest and 
rangeland health and productivity, and 
maintaining economic, social, and cultural 
systems (including tribal trust 
responsibilities). The Euaiuation provides 
an estimate of likely outcomes and 
cumulative effects from the alternatives 
across the entire project area. 






As directed in the Project Charter, management 
strategies (or alternatives) in the Eastside and 
Upper Columbia River Basin ElSs are "based on 
ecosystem management concepts; focused on 
restoring the health of forest ecosystems; 
scientifically sound; based on the eastside forest 
health study completed by agency scientists, and 
other studies; and a multi-agency effort involving 
the public in an open process." EIS strategies 
also look at rangeland and aquatic/riparian 
ecosystems, and socio-economic needs, such as 
those of local communities and American Indians. 



Proposed Action 



r 



Regional, Subregional, 
and Landscape Levels 

In the Purpose and Need sections, regional, 
subregional, and landscape levels are discussed. 
These are relative terms that refer to geographic 
extent. In general, regional refers to the entire 
planning area (one EIS) or project area (both EISs). 
A subregion is geographically smaller than a region 
and larger than one administrative unit (a 
National Forest or BLM District). A landscape is 
smaller than a subregion. The specific geographic 
extent of a region, subregion, or landscape 
depends on the issue being addressed. 



=^ 



J 



The Forest Service and BLM propose to develop 
and implement a coordinated, scientifically 
sound, ecosystem-based management strategy 
for lands they administer east of the crest of the 
Cascade Range in Oregon and Washington. 



Purpose of and 
Need For Action 



Purpose 



The purpose of the Proposed Action is to take a 
coordinated approach and to select a 
management strategy that best achieves a 
combination of the following: 

♦ Restore and maintain long-tenn ecosystem 
health and ecological integrity. 

♦ Support economic and/or social needs of 
people, cultures, and communities, and 
provide sustainable and predictable levels of 
products and services from lands administered 
by the Forest Service or BLM including fish, 
wildlife, and native plant communities. 

♦ Update or amend if necessary current Forest 
Service and BLM management plans with 
long-term direction, primarily at regional and 
subregional levels. 

♦ Provide consistent direction to assist federal 
managers in making decisions at a landscape 
level within the context of broader ecological 
considerations. 

♦ Emphasize adaptive management over the 
long term. 



♦ Help restore and maintain habitats of plant 
and animal species, especially those of 
threatened, endangered, and candidate 
species and of special interest to tribes. This 
would be done primarily by moving toward 
desired ranges of landscape conditions at a 
subregional and regional ecosystem basis. 

♦ Provide opportunities for cultural, 
recreational, and aesthetic experiences. 

♦ Provide long-term management direction to 
replace interim strategies (PACFISH, Eastside 
Screens, and Inland Native Fish Strategy) . 

♦ Identify where current policy, regulation, law, 
or organizational structure may act as 
challenges to implementing the strategy or 
achieving desired future conditions. 



Need 

The alternative management strategies examined 
in detail in this EIS are based upon underlying 
needs for: 

♦ Restoration and maintenance of long-term 
ecosystem health and ecological integrity. 

There is a need to restore and maintain forest, 
rangeland, aquatic, and riparian ecosystem 
health and integrity. There is also a need to 
identify desired ranges of future landscape 
conditions for vegetation structure, 
composition, and distribution; for hydrologic 
processes and functions; and for aquatic 
habitat structure and complexity. 

♦ Supporting the economic and/or social 
needs of people, cultures, and communities, 
and providing sustainable and predictable 



levels of products and services from Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands. 

There is a need to contribute to the vitality 
and resiliency of human communities. There 
is also a need to provide for human uses and 
values of natural resources consistent with 
maintaining healthy, diverse ecosystems. 

Identification of these needs comes primarily 
from three considerations: 

♦ Changed conditions, 

♦ New information and understandings of 
ecologic relationships, and 

♦ Requirements and authority for more 
comprehensive, regional and subregional 
long-term management direction. 

These considerations have developed or become 
more apparent since current land management 
plans were signed. 

Changed Conditions 

The Assessment of Ecosystem Components (AEC) 
provides information characterizing historical 
and current conditions, and associated trends. 
Throughout the Draft Eastside EIS, historical 
conditions are compared to current ecosystem 
functions and components. Society values many 
of the changes that have occurred on federal 
lands since historical times, while other changes 
may cause concern. Many pre-settlement 
conditions are not reasonable or possible to 
recreate due to such factors as dams, urban 
development, highways, and land use and 
ownership patterns. Historical conditions are 
not a goal; they are needed for reference to help 



understand landscape potential, how landscapes 
evolve, the role of disturbance on the landscape, 
and human influences on landscapes. 
Alternatives described in Chapter 3 reflect this 
understanding and propose strategies that focus 
on future conditions. The changed conditions 
summarized here were taken from the 
Assessment of Ecosystem Components (Quigley 
andArbelbide 1996b). 

Accelerated changes in vegetation patterns, fish 
and wildlife distributions, terrestrial and aquatic 
ecosystem processes, and human communities 
have occurred in the project area in the past 
century. A few well-intentioned management 
strategies are responsible for many of the 
changes, permanently converting lands and 
ecosystems to something other than what was 
there historically. These change-inducing 
management strategies include: fire 
suppression; selective harvest of desirable 
commercial tree species; widespread sheep and 
cattle grazing of rangelands, dry forests, and 
riparian areas; and development of 
transportation systems. In general, during 
natural evolutionary change, native plant and 
animal species slowly adapted and became 
tolerant of changing climates, environments, and 
habitats. Many native species are not equipped 
to adapt to rapid changes in habitat quality, 
abundance, and distribution. Fire regimes 
change, wildlife habitat is fragmented, exotic 
species spread, and introduced fish and wildlife 
species replace native species. As a 
consequence. local areas, and larger regional 
areas, lose their diversity of plants and animals. 
People and communities dependent on natural 
resources for employment and sustaining their 
way of life are affected by subsequent changes in 
federal land management. 



Ecosystem Health 

A healthy body is one that works the way it is supposed to. It can do the work asked of it. People ask their 
bodies to play sports, dance, cut firewood, or write research papers, for example. These different kinds of work 
call for different kinds of strength, endurance, or skill. However, they all require similar basic conditions of 
health and integrity, such as functioning body parts working together as an integrated system. 

The same is true of ecosystems. They do various kinds of work: convert sunlight into plant and animal tissues, 
sustain life and its many processes, and provide products and places for people. A healthy ecosystem is one that 
does the work expected of it in terms of environmental, social, and economic goals. To do this, ecosystem parts 
and functions need to work well. 

One of the signs of a heathy ecosystem in good working order is its ability to respond to disturbances such as fires, 
insects, or floods in a dynamic way. The system absorbs and recovers from disturbances without losing its processes or 
functions, although recovery may take varying amounts of time, or specific conditions may look different afterward. If 
the ecosystem is healthy, it will continue to produce populations of plants and animals that are diverse and viable, 
waters that are clear, air that is clean, and soils that are fertile. A sign of an unhealthy ecosystem is the presence of 
disturbances that are too large, intense, or frequent for the system to handle. 



Forestlands 



Species Habitats 



In forestlands, harvest of the largest trees was 
usually emphasized under traditional forestry. 
This included removal of shade-intolerant 
species, such as ponderosa pine, that are 
resistant to fires and droughts, and, in open 
stands, are resistant to insects and diseases. 
Fire prevention and suppression changed dry 
forests with many large, fire-tolerant species and 
minimal fuel loads, to forests comprised of few 
large trees, many small patches of dense, small- 
and medium-sized shade-tolerant trees, and 
heavy fuel loads. These areas are more 
susceptible to fires, insect outbreaks, and 
disease epidemics. Fire regime patterns on the 
landscape have been converted from low- 
intensity ground fires that burned in a mosaic 
and maintained the vegetation pattern and 
structure, to homogenous high-intensity crown 
fires that replaced the vegetation structure. 
Forests in eastern Oregon and Washington today 
contain trees that are smaller, more shade- 
tolerant, and less resilient to significant 
disturbance events than existed historically. 

Rangelands 

Rangeland conditions have steadily improved 
from the heavy season-long use typical in the late 
1800s and early 1900s. There is, however, need 
for improvement. Compared to seasonal ranges 
and migration patterns used by native 
herbivores, livestock grazing allotments are 
confined by fences, which result in higher 
grazing frequencies and intensities, and altered 
rangeland plant communities. Overgrazing of 
rangeland riparian areas has resulted in 
unstable streambanks, reduced bank cover and 
shade, stream de-watering, increased sediment 
input, and altered channel structures. 
Livestock, roads, and recreation trails have been 
a direct conduit for the introduction of exotic 
plants, which are now widely distributed as 
compared to historical conditions. Some highly 
flammable exotic grasses, such as cheatgrass, 
have permanently altered historical fire regimes. 
These factors have resulted in loss of native 
grasslands and shrublands, expansion of 
woodlands, and conifer encroachment as 
compared to historical conditions. These effects 
are especially severe in areas that receive 1 2 
inches or less of annual precipitation, where 
recovery is slow or not at all. 



Old forest structure in the project area has 
declined by 44 percent on federal lands, and 
twice as fast on private lands as compared to 
historical amounts. In particular, the loss of old 
single-strata forest habitat in ponderosa pine and 
western larch has been significant with 
consequent declines of associated wildlife 
species, especially cavity-nesting birds. 
Grassland habitats have decreased 63 percent, 
and shrubland habitats have decreased 24 
percent and have become severely fragmented as 
compared to historical conditions. This has 
mostly occurred on non-federal lands. Species 
associated with rangelands have experienced 
significant declines as a result of those changes. 

Species Viability 

Management activities on Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands have resulted in a 
decreased ability of some areas with high 
endemism (species that are native to, or limited to 
a certain location) or species diversity to support 
viable populations of native species. The Science 
Integration Team analyzed viability of 1 73 species 
of vertebrates, 28 plants, and 25 fishes in the 
project area. This includes 8 candidate, 13 
threatened, 1 1 endangered species, and 2 
proposed species. Loss or isolation of old forests 
and degradation of rangelands by the spread of 
exotic species and livestock grazing are 
contributing factors . 

Aquatic Ecosystems 

Aquatic ecosystems (water and associated plant 
and animal species) in the project area have 
changed significantly due to human use. Present 
conditions have resulted from the cumulative 
effects of past activities on and off agency- 
administered lands. Water quality and quantity 
have been locally affected by resource 
management activities such as timber harvest, 
livestock grazing, road construction, and mining. 
Hydrologic function has been locally altered by 
dams, diversions, water withdrawal, vegetation 
manipulation, and alteration of riparian and 
wetland areas. Changes in hydrologic and riparian 
conditions on agency-administered lands, in 
concert with many other factors, have contributed 
to changes in the abundance and types of aquatic 
species that inhabit lakes, rivers, and streams. 
The composition, distribution, and status of fishes 
in the project area is very different than it was 
historically. Many salmon species presently 
inhabit a small portion of their former ranges, while 



Cjmpj;« 2 



ZMV, 



many non-native species, including important 
recreational species, are widespread. Of the 87 
native fishes in the project area, 45 are recognized 
by state and federal management agencies as 
sensitive or species of special concern, and 12 are 
either listed or candidates for listing under the 
EndangeredSpecies Act. 

Human Uses and Values 

Social, economic, and biophysical conditions have 
undergone rapid change in the past 50 years, and 
managers and the public are confronted with a 
complex situation for which no easy answers 
exist. Based on society's needs and values, 
choices were made to promote development, grow 
crops, raise cattle, build dams, build roads, and 
harvest timber. The area's population has 
increased significantly in 50 years, and it appears 
this trend will continue. Values have shifted 
among the American public toward a stronger 
emphasis on environmental quality and resource 
protection, intensifying controversy about the 
role of resource use on public lands. Declining 
and unpredictable flows of commodities from 
public lands directly affect people in resource- 
dependent communities through job losses, as 
well as having national and regional 
consequences. The increasing number of appeals 
and lawsuits over Forest Service and BLM land 
management plan decisions reflect some public's 
dissatisfaction with the agencies' decisions. 
Recent appeals and lawsuits have focused on 
regional issues, such as species viability, 
biodiversity, and related cumulative effects, 
which have been difficult to address successfully 
because of the absence of a comprehensive 
regional look at agency land management. 

American Indians were primary users of what 
eventually became public lands. Tribal rights 
and interests in public lands and resources 
persists today; however, traditional use patterns 
have changed. Examples include changes in 
access and levels of resources as designated in 
treaties, and competition with non-Indicins over 
resource use. 

New Information and 
Understandings 

Considerable research, studies, and reports 
documenting some of these changed conditions 
were published recently. A partial list follows: 

♦ EcLStside Forest Ecosystem Health 
Assessment (Everett etal. 1994); 



^Assessing Forest Ecosystem Health in 
the Inland West (Sampson and Adams, 
eds. 1994); 

♦ Distribution ojTwo Exotic Grasses on 
IntermountainRangelands: Status in 
1 992 (Pellant and Hall 1 994) ; 

♦ Scientific Assessment/or Ecosystem 
Management in the Interior Columbia 
Basin and portions of the Klamath and 
Great basins (Quigley et al. 1996a,b); 

♦ EnvironmentalAssessmentfor the 
Implementation of Interim. Strategiesfor 
Managing Anadromous Fish-producing 
Watersheds in Eastern Oregon and 
Washington, Idaho, and Portions of 
California (USDA Forest Service and USDI 
Bureau of Land Management 1994); 

♦ InlandNativeFishStategy Environmental 
Assessment Decision Notice and Finding 
of No Significant Impact: Interim Strategies 
for Managing Fish-producing Watersheds 

inEastem Oregon and Washington, Idaho, 
Western Montana, and Portions of Nevada 
(USDA Forest Service 1995); 

♦ Eastside Forests Scientific Society Panel 
Report to the Congress and President of 
the U.S. on Interim Protection for Late- 
Successional Forests, Fisheries, and 
Watersheds (Henjum et al. 1994); 

♦ Management History of Eastside 
Ecosystems: Changes in Fish Habitat 
Over 50 Years, 1 935-1992 (Mcintosh et 
al. 1991); and 

♦ Pacific Salmon at the Crossroads: Stocks at 
Riskfrom California, Oregon, Idaho, and 
Washinsfton (Nehlsenetal. 1991). 

Requirements or Authority for 
New Long-term Management 
Direction 

Requirements or authority for permanent, 
ecosystem-based management direction have 
come from: directives; commitments made 
through interim direction; consultation with 
regulatory agencies: and court orders including 
Pacific Rivers Council v. Thorrvas (see Appendix 1 -5 for 
more details). In the Forest Service's Pacific 
Northwest Region, Forest Plan Monitoring and 
Evaluation Reports from 1990 to 1994 also 
indicate the need for long-term management to 



'ws^m' 



PimmsE w .4.\n Nf.£d rt>« Acnm 



resolve monitoring elements that are at or near 
the indicated threshold. 

Directives 

The following agency-level directives apply to 
ecosystem-based management: 

♦ Chief of the Forest Service's June 4, 1 992 
directive, mandating regional foresters and 
station directors to undertake ecosystem- 
based management on National Forests 
and Grasslands. 

♦ President Clinton's July 1993 directive, 
mandating the Forest Service to develop a 
scientifically sound and ecosystem-based 
strategy for management of eastside forests. 

♦ Director of the BLM's August 20, 1993 memo, 
directing all employees to undertake an 
ecosystem-based approach to land management. 

♦ BLM's late 1993 directive to develop a 
scientifically sound and ecosystem-based 
strategy with the Forest Service for eastside 
BLM-administered lands, that led to 
directives in the Project Charter. 

♦ Chiefofthe Forest Service's 1994 
decision related to the Forest Service's 
Western Forest Health Initiative. 

♦ Chiefofthe Forest Service's October 

1 994 Forest Service Ethics and Course to 
the Future. 

ConiTnitTnents Made Through 
Interim Direction 

Three separate interim management strategies 
exist in the planning area. Decisions made as a 
result of the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project will replace that direction. 
Those strategies and their commitments forthe 
project are: 

♦ PACFISH. Implementationof Interim 
Strategies for Managing Anadromous Fish- 
producing Watersheds inEastem Oregon and 
Washington, Idaho, and Portions oJCalifomia 
(February 24, 1995): Calls for a longer-term 
strategy to be developed and evaluated for 
slowing the degradation and beginning the 
restoration of aquatic and riparian 
ecosystems for anadromous fish. 



♦ Eastside Screens. Interim Management 
Direction Establishing Riparian, Ecosystem, 
and Wildlife Standards for Timber Scdes (May 
20, 1994; amended June 5. 1995; riparian 
standards replaced July 3 1 , 1995): Calls for 
more definitive long-term direction for 
ecosystem-based management of timber 
sales on National Forests in eastern Oregon 
and Washington. 

♦ INFISH. Inland Native Fish Strategy (July28, 
1 995) : Calls for longer-term management 
direction to protect habitat and populations of 
resident native fishes outside anadromous 
fish habitat. 

Consultation with Regulatory 
Agencies 

Each of the alternatives analyzed in this Draft EIS 
is a broad-scale, overview- type approach to 
management of Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands within the project area. This 
Draft EIS does not analyze on-the-ground 
impacts of site-specific management actions. 
On-the-ground impacts will be assessed in 
subsequent decision-making before site-specific 
actions will be taken. 

Formal consultation under Section 7 of the 
Endangered Species Act with the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service will be completed before any 
decisions are made on the basis of this EIS. 
Formal consultation will include the preparation 
of a Biological Opinion, which will not address 
incidental take of listed species because of the 
broad-scale nature of the alternatives analyzed in 
this EIS. Assessment of incidental take can only 
be accomplished for site-specific actions. 

Subsequent proposals for site-specific actions that 
implement the broad-scale, overview- type 
approach to management selected from this EIS, 
and which "may affect" a Listed species, shall 
require consultation with the National Marine 
Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. Those site-specific consultations will 
assess on-the-ground impacts and will include 
specific incidental take statements in the Biological 
Opinion. The National Marine Fisheries Service 
and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will continue 
to coordinate with the Forest Service and BLM 
regarding implementation of the broad-scale 
approach to management selected from this EIS. 



aSttii^iii^^SM 



Management Priorities 

In developing and implementing decisions, the 
Forest Service and BLM are guided by basic 
principles and priorities. Both the Forest Senace 
and BLM are multiple-use agencies that promote 
the sustainability of ecosystems by ensuring their 
health, diversity, and productivity. Priorities for 
management will include: 

♦ Protecting Ecosystems. The agencies will 
work to ensure the health and diversity of 
ecosystems while meeting people's needs. 
Special care for fragile or rare ecosystem 
components will be provided on lands 
administered by the Forest Service or BLM. 

♦ Restoring Deteriorated Ecosystems. The 

BLM and Forest Service will improve 
deteriorated ecosystems on lands they 
administer, based on scientific understanding 
and emerging technologies. 

♦ Providing Multiple Benefits for People 
Within the Capahilities of Ecosystems. 

Within the limitations of ecosystem 
integrity, health, and diversity, forests and 
rangelands also must meet people's needs 
for uses, values, products, and services. 

Decisions resulting from this EIS and subsequent 
actions will be implemented under the three 
priorities outlined above. In essence, ecosystems 
must be healthy, diverse, and productive in order 
to meet the needs of society today, as well as 
those of future generations. 



PiMicParticipation 



The Eastside DEIS was developed with extensive 
public participation. Minimum involvement of the 
public required by the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) , was far exceeded in order to 
develop and publish an EIS with few to no 
surprises for the public. The scoping process 
required by NEPA (40 CFR 1 50 1. 7) was conducted 
to invite public participation, encourage an open 
process, and determine the significant issues to be 
addressed. The Forest Service and BLM sought 
information, comments, and assistance from 
federal, tribal, state, and local agencies, and from 
other groups and individuals Interested in or 
affected by the proposed action. For a detailed 
description of the public scoping process and a 
summary of public comments received during 
scoping, see Appendices 1-3 and 1-4. 



The open process required a significant investment 
in time and energy, primarily through preparing for 
and holding various types of meetings. That 
investment is yielding multiple benefits. Including: 
partnerships (and Increasing ownership) among the 
public, science, and management; improved 
communication and coordination; mutual learning 
by all parties; technology and information transfer; 
and better understanding of and iacreased 
knowledge about ecosystems. 

The open approach adapted and evolved over time. 
Public meetings, open houses, symposiums, 
workshops, and a variety of other public processes 
were used to achieve this end. Over 80 public 
meetings were held throughout eastern Oregon 
and Washington. These provided an opportunity 
for project personnel to share data, information, 
and progress with the public. Summaries of 
internal and external meetings have been 
accessible via computer modems, Internet, a toll- 
free phone number, and 44 information centers 
throughout the planning area. Regular maiUngs to 
a mailing list of approximately 5,000 helped 
provide information to the public as well. 

Through public meetings or mailings, the public 
was involved in development and/or review of the 
following EIS components: Issues; proposed 
action; purpose and need; and concepts, themes, 
and goals for alternatives. 



Notice of Intent 

The formal scoping period opened with 
publication of the Notice of Intent to produce an 
Environmental Impact Statement, which first 
appeared in the Federal J^egister on February 1 , 

1994 (59 FR 4680). It was revised May 23, 1994 
(59 FR 2662A) to add BLM-adminlstered lands in 
southeastern Oregon, and revised August 25, 

1995 (60 FR 44298) to correct the expected 
publication date for the Draft EIS. 



Scoping Meetings 

Fifteen scoping meetings for the Eastside EIS were 
held in Oregon and Washington in May and June 
1994 (see Appendix 1-3), and for the Upper 
Columbia River Basin EIS in January and February 
1995. Each set of scoping raieetings contributed to 
a preliminary set of issues, which were combined 
to make a final list of Issues for both EISs (similar 
concerns were grouped where appropriate) . Listed 



on pages 1 4 and 1 5 is the final set of issues with a 
brief summary of public comments to show the 
range of opinions expressed. Each issue addresses 
lands and resources administered by the Forest 
Service or BLM only. All significant issues 
identified during scoping have been considered in 
theprepai-ationoffhisEIS. Appendix 1-4 includes 
a more complete discussion of why each is an 
issue, examples of the comments received, and 
how preliminary issues for the Eastside EIS were 
incorporated into the final set of issues. Appendix 
1-4 also discusses some topics that cross many 
issues, such as species viability and anadromous 
fish, among others. 



Other Meetings, 
Briefings, Consultations 



and National Park Service. Cooperating agencies 
are defined in 40 CFR 1 50 1 .6 as federal agencies 
that have legal jurisdiction or special expertise 
with respect to environmental issues addressed 
in the EIS. State, local, and tribal governments 
are encouraged to participate in the process, but 
are not considered as "cooperating agencies." 

Project personnel met with various state agencies 
and representatives of the governors for Oregon 
and Washington to ensure state concerns were 
incorporated into the Eastside EIS. State 
agencies with the responsibility for fish, wildlife, 
forestry and natural resources, and air and water 
were mostly involved. In addition, senior natural 
resource advisors and officials for both Oregon 
and Washington have maintained a continuing 
dialogue during development of the Eastside EIS. 

Tribal Govemnients 



Many types of meetings were held throughout the 
development of the Draft EIS. Appendix 1 -3 lists 
many of these meetings. 



Coordination with Other 
Crovemments 

The Eastside EIS Team used a collaborative 
approach with the Science Integration Team , and 
elected officials from state, county, and tribal 
governments to develop and analyze a range of 
comprehensive ecosystem-based strategies for 
management of lands in the planning area 
administered by the BLM or Forest Service. A 
listing of all government entities that participated 
can be found in Chapter 5 . 

Federal and State Agencies 

The Eastside EIS Team was comprised of 
personnel from the BLM, Forest Service, U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental 
Protection Agency, and Bureau of Mines. Other 
federal agencies involved in development of the 
EIS included the National Marine Fisheries 
Service. U.S. Geological Survey, and Bureau of 
Indian Affairs. Federal cooperating agencies (as 
defined in the National Environmental Policy Act 
implementing regulations) are the Bureau of 
Reclamation, Bonneville Power Administration. 



The project's Tribal Liaison Group contacted 22 
individual tribes, 17 of which reside within or have 
rights and interests in the Eastside planning area. 
The purpose of the contact was to help develop, 
based on a government- to-govemment 
relationship, a consultation process with each tribe 
and to work closely and continuously with each 
other to integrate tribal rights and interests in the 
planning process . 

Early tribal involvement and consultation in such a 
complex project as the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project is a relatively new 
undertaking. All the tribes contacted have 
participated to varying degrees and at various 
times, based in part on differing interpretations of 
the concepts of "involvement" and "consultation". 
Although all the tribes have provided at least 
informal feedback upon request and have made 
significant early contributions to this process, 
some have chosen to provide formal consultation 
and official tribal comments only upon release of 
the completed Draft EIS. Deciding officials are 
committed to formal government- to-govemment 
consultation and are prepared to ensure that all 
tribes have the opportunity to participate to the 
degree and in the way they wish before the Final 
EIS and Record of Decision are released. 

County Governments 

The project area includes all or part of 104 
counties in 7 states. The Eastside Ecosystem 
Coalition of Counties facilitated the involvement 



ISiiMWtB^^MI 



of counties, assuring that county interests and 
input were considered by the Science Integration 
Team and both EIS Teams. The Coalition was 
jointly formed in the summer of 1 994 by the 
Association of Counties from Idaho. Montana, 
Oregon, and Washington. They have been 
continually involved in the planning process 
throughout the development of project 
documents, and have made significant 
investments in the project's success. 



What's Next in the 
Planning Process 

Availability of the Draft Eastside EIS for review will be 
announced in the Federal Register and in local 
media. Publication of the Notice of Availability opens 
a comment period for the public to submit comments 
on the draft. Documents were mailed to those on the 
Distribution List (see Chapter 5) and any others upon 
request. Public meetings will be held in locations and 
at times and dates announced in the letter 
accompanying this document and in local media. 

After analysis and consideration of public comment 
on the draft, the Final Eastside EIS is expected to 
be released in mid 1998. Any ensuing Record(s) of 
Decision (RODs) will be issued following this in 
accordance with appropriate Forest Service and 
BLM regulations. The availability of the Final 
Eastside EIS and ROD(s] will be published in the 
Federal Register and in local media. Opportunities 
to protest proposed decision(s) (BLM) or appeal 
decision(s) (Forest Service) will be provided in 
accordance with BLM and Forest Service 
regulations and policies. 



Planning Issues 

Project scoping identified the issues and 
concerns people have about public lands 
managed by the BLM or Forest Service in eastern 
Oregon and Washington. This information was 
collected for several reasons: 

♦To help identiiy what data should be 
collected for the Draft EIS. 

♦To help develop ecosystem management 
alternatives for the Draft EIS. 



(^ Notice of Intent (NOI) ^i 

I Notice placed in Federal Register | 
I that Forest Sen/ice and BLM i 

\^ intend to prepare Eastside EIS y 

^ Scoping ^ 

I Public invited to identify I 

I potential issues, concerns, and | 

opportunities forthe EIS 

C Draft EIS 3 ^ 

^Public Comment Period^ 

I Following notice of Draft EIS I ^^^ 

^^ availability in Federa l Register ^ *^ 
^T^ I , 

/ Analysis of , 

\ _ _Pjjblic_Comments / 

! 

^ Final EIS and ^. 

' Record of Decision (ROD) ' 

Figure 1 -1 - Steps in the Planning Process 



♦To help identify environmental 
consequences that should be addressed 
in the Draft EIS. 

An "issue" for planning purposes is defined as a 
matter of controversy, dispute, or general 
concern over resource management activities or 
land uses. To be considered as a "significant" 
planning issue, it must be well defined, relevant 
to the proposed action in question, within the 
ability of the agencies to address in the formulation 
of a range of management alternatives or possible 
mitigation measures, and in the environmental 
analysis of the various alternatives. Other factors 
used to identiiy significant issues include the 
geographic extent of the issue, how long the issue 
is likely to be of interest, and the intensity of the 
level of interest or conflict generated by the issue. 

The concepts of ecosystem-based management 
stress the integration and interrelationships of all 
parts and functions of an ecosystem, including 
the human component. The issue statements 






Commenting on the DEIS 

Those who do not comment on the Draft 
Eastside EIS or otherwise participate in this EIS 
process may have limited options to appeal or 
protest the final decision. Federal court 
decisions have ruled that environmental 
objections that could have been raised at the 
draft stage may be waived if not raised until 
after completion of a Final EIS. This is to 
ensure substantive comments and objections 
are made available to the Forest Service and 
BLM when they can be meaningfully 
considered and responded to in the Final EIS. 

To be most helpful, comments on the Draft EIS 
should be specific, mentioning particular pages or 
chapters where appropria te. Comments may 
address the adequacy of the Draft EIS, the merits 
of the alternatives, or the procedures followed in 
the prepara tion of this document as called for 
under the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) and its implementing regulations. 

Comments received on the Draft EIS, along 
with comments received during scoping or at 
other stages of this process, will be placed into 
the administrative record where they will be 
available for public review. Commenters 
should thus be aware that information, such as 
addresses and phone numbers, may be viewed 
and copied by anyone with access to these 
public files in this open process. 



J/ 



listed here therefore exhibit the integration and 
interdependence of all resources in each issue. 
Each paragraphfollowing the issue represents 
some of the comments received during the 
Eastside scoping process, and are intended to 
illustrate the varying public opinion. 

Issue 1: In what condition should 
ecosystems be maintained? 

People have varying opinions about what level of 
human alteration of the landscape and natural 
systems is acceptable, whether change should be 
measured against current orhistorical 
conditions, what time period to consider for 
historical conditions, and what the desired range 
of conditions are and how they should be achieved. 
Many people prefer restoring ecosystem conditions 
to those that existed naturally (historical ranges of 
variability), prior to the extensive impacts of 
human development on natural systems. Others 



feel that people are an integral part of ecosystems; 
therefore anything people do is part of ecosystem 
function and should be allowed, provided that 
outputs can be sustained over time, and provide 
revenue and employment. Some people also feel 
that federalland management should compensate 
for a lack of functioning ecosystem conditions on 
some private lands. 

^sue 2: To what degree, and 
under what circumstances should 
restoration be active (with human 
intervention) or passive (letting 
nature take its course}? 

Some people believe that the primary function of 
public lands is as reservoirs for biological 
resources, and therefore should be undisturbed, 
allowing "nature to take its course." Others 
believe they should be used to the fullest extent, 
as long as productivity and other biological 
functions are sustained. There were generally 
four viewpoints expressed regarding active and 
passive management: 

♦Active management is desirable. 

♦ Active management is desirable, but not all 
management techniques are acceptable. 

♦Active management is desirable in some 
areas, but should be limited to areas that 
are currently roaded. 

♦ Passive management is the only acceptable 
strategy; human management and 
intervention is what caused current 
problems in the first place. 

Issue 3: What emphasis will be 
assigned when trade-ojfs are 
necessary among resources, 
species, land areas, and uses? 

Federal land managers have long operated under 
the multiple-use philosophy, but controversy 
exists over dominance of particular uses, and how 
these uses are distributed over time and space. 
Some of these conflicts include consumptive 
versus non-consumptive uses, use of roads for 
access versus closing roads to mitigate adverse 
impacts on various parts of the ecosystem, and 
taking care of the environment regardless of cost 
versus spending only what is necessary to restore 
damaged areas. Other matters of controversy 
include which areas should receive priority; which 



resources and/or resource uses should receive 
priority; what amount of protection (including cost) 
is necessaiy for threatened, endangered, 
candidate, and special status species recovery; and 
how much weight shou Id social and economic 
costs and concerns have regarding species 
protection and natural resource management. 

Issue 4; To what degree will 
ecosystem-based management 
support economic and/or social 
needs of people, cultures, and 
communities? 

Some people believe the federal government has 
an obligation to support the economic vitality of 
certain rural communities through predictable 
access to resources on public lands. Others 
believe there is no mandate to contribute to rural 
communities, and access should not be 
guaranteed. Some people feel public lands 
should continue to support the creation and 
maintenance of jobs, while others believe that 
jobs should not be driving public land 
management. Controversy exists over a balance 
between healthy ecosystems and levels of 
commodities and jobs. Another difference comes 
from potential effects of land management 
decisions on private lands. Some people view 
ecosystem-based management as a federal 
government attempt to control private lands, 
while others see necessity in considering all 
ownerships and resources when developing 
public land management strategies. 
Disagreement exists over whether public lands 
should remain exempt from property taxes, how 
much revenues from production of federal 
commodities should be paid to local governments, 
and if the two should be tied together. 

Issue 5: How will ecosystem- 
based management incorporate 
the interactions of disturbance 
processes across landscapes? 

Some people feel wildfire suppression has 
resulted in conditions that contribute to larger 
fires and support the use of fire as a 
management tool. Others are concerned that 
prescribed fires sometimes get out of control. 
There is disagreement over the role that fire 
plays in ecosystem function. Many concerns 
were expressed regarding trade-offs between 



wildfire and prescribed fire. Air quality and 
visibility are important to the American public. 
Although smoke is generally considered to be the 
most significant factor affecting air quality and 
visibility, understanding of air quality tradeoffs 
between prescribed fire and wildfire is poor. 
Effects of fire on private property in wildland- 
urban interface areas, whether timber harvest 
mimics natural disturbances, and the current 
debate over the costs and benefits of salvage 
logging are other controversies. 

Issue 6: What types of 
opportunities will be available 
for cultural, recreational, and 
aesthetic experiences? 

Some people value public lands for their natural 
beauty, purity, and open spaces for current and 
future generations, or simply to allow wild things a 
place to exist. Others value public lands for the 
commodities that help to sustain their lifestyle, 
such as logs for loggers. People become attached 
to places that have special meaning to them. The 
controversy comes when the use they prefer 
conflicts with others, such as a special place for 
American Indian spiritual use versus a place for 
off-highway driving for pleasure. There is 
considerable debate on whether the cultural 
characteristics and traditional practices of 
distinctive groups should be sustained. Increases 
in human population and other social factors, such 
as an aging population, create pressures on 
locations close to public lands. 

Issue 7; How will ecosystem- 
based management contribute 
to meeting treaty and trust 
responsibilities to American 
Indian tribes? 

On significant portions of land administered by 
the BLM or Forest Service. American Indian 
tribes retain rights and privileges under treaties 
negotiated with the United States Government. 
Tribal rights and interests in the management of 
resources sometimes conflict with the interests 
of groups with other cultural perspectives. Some 
commenters feel that all groups, including tribes, 
should be given equal consideration, while other 
people believe the federal government should 
prioritize the resource needs of American Indians 
over others' needs. 



Issues, Concerns, and 
Other Planning 
Considerations Not 
Addressed in the 
Alternatives 

Many other issues besides those listed above 
were received during the scoping period. They 
fall into two broad categories ~ issues that were 
considered in other parts of the EIS process, and 
issues that were beyond the scope of the EIS. As 
defined above, planning issues are a matter of 
controversy that can be addressed through the 
management alternatives. 

Issues raised that related to development and 
implementation of the EIS, public participation, 
consultation and coordination, and other parts of 
the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project were considered during the 
development of the Draft Eastside EIS. 

Examples of these types of issues follow: 

♦ Write your reports and documents so that the 
average person can understand them. 

♦ Be consistent with state, county, and local 
planning, zoning, and regulations. 

♦Address how implementation of an ecosystem 
strategy may require changes in laws, 
including the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act and the Endangered Species Act. 

♦ Many people like the open, honest process and 
want it to remain open and accessible. 

♦ Several ways were suggested to keep the 
public informed on what is happening on 
the project. 

♦The following agencies or groups should be 
involved in the process, including the 
Bureau of Reclamation, Corps of Engineers, 
Department of Defense, National Biological 
Survey, Canadian government, soil 
conservation districts, and a variety of 
groups including the Klamath-Modoc 
recreation strategy working group. 

♦ Provide for peer-review of the Assessment 
by non-agency scientists. 

Several other issues that were beyond the scope 
of the EIS were outside the decision-makers' 



authority, fell under other agencies' jurisdiction, 
or were beyond the Project Charter. Those issues 
were transferred to the appropriate agency or 
decision-maker. 

Some examples of these comments and 
responses follow: 

♦Allow species, especially predators, to 
become extinct. (Federal legislation, such 
as the Endangered Species Act and the 
National Forest Management Act, does not 
provide this optionfor either the Forest 
Service or BLM.) 

♦ Analyze the size and appropriateness of 
wilderness and other congressionally designated 
areas. (Existence of congressionally 
designated areas were recognized in the 
Eastside EIS process; however, changing the 
size or designation of these areas faUs under 
the Congress' authority.) 

♦ Evaluate the effect of Hanford Nuclear 
Reservation operations and superfund sites 
on ecosystem management. (Thesefactors 
were included in the Assessment 
Modification of these operations is not within 
the decision-maker's authority.) 

♦The BLM and Forest Service should consider 
private lands in ecosystem management. 
(Regulation of private lands is not within the 
decision-maker's Jurisdiction, and tYxerefore 
was not considered in the Ekistside EIS. 
Contributionsfromprivate lands were 
considered as part of the Assessment) 

♦Water quantity issues need to address 
water rights. Water rights and water 
quality laws must be followed. (Water 
rights and allocationfalls under the 
Jurisdiction of state governments.) 

♦ Protect all old growth, and prohibit all 
extractive activities (logging, mining, etc.), 
until the Eastside EIS is final. (These 
issues refer to actions that the Forest Service 
and BLM should take prior to release of a 
Record ofDecisionfor the Eastside EIS. The 
Project Charter did not provide for any 
interim management actions; therefore these 
issues are not within the scope of the 
Proposed Action and were not addressed in 
the Eastside EIS.) 

♦ The uncertainty of implementing decisions from 
the Eastside EIS is a concern. For example, a 
certain level of resource flows needs to be 
ensured to assist local businesses in 






''MiSiiiifiSiiBif 



determining their future levels of investment. 
(Specific levels of resource Jlows wiR be 
determined at the field level The Eastside 
EIS only described resourcefiows in terms of 
an anticipated range as an outputfrom 
tmplementing each alternative.) 

A synthesis of these comments was included in 
the Eastside EIS TesLUi's Preliminary Issues for 
the Development of Alternatives paper, which 
was mailed to the public on November 7, 1994. 



Decisions To Be 
Made 



This section of Chapter 1 provides technical 
information regarding a planning and decision- 
making framework. It discusses the nature and 
status of, and implications for. Forest Service 
and BLM planning; what has been accomplished 
to date and what will be accomplished between 
publication of Draft and Final EISs; decisions to 
be made; factors affecting implementation; and 
requirements of Forest Service and BLM 
planning regulations. 



Planning Considerations 

In order to understand the decisions that will be 
made based on this EIS, it is important to 
understand the Forest Service's and BLM's multi- 
stage process for land use planning, the status of 
planning, and the implications that the Eastside 
Record(s) of Decision would have for multiple 
administrative units. 

The Nature of Planning 

Under the Forest and Rangeland Renewable 
Resources Planning Act of 1974, the Forest 
Service Chief prepares nationwide Renewable 
ResourcesAssessment and Program documents 
(36 CFR 2 1 9.4(b)). Under the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976, the BLM Director 
provides guidance, which includes national level 
policy, for the preparation of resource 
management plans (43 CFR 1 6 1 . 1 (a)) . 

The next planning level involves preparation of a 
regional guide for each Forest Service region to 



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address "major issues and management concerns 
which need to be considered at the regional level" 
(36 CFR 2 1 9.8(a)) . Somewhat parallel to this, the 
BLM State Director provides State Director 
guidance for resourcemanagement plan preparation 
(43 CFR 1610. 1(a)). 

Next, individual National Forest and BLM land 
use plans, and associated EISs, are prepared. 
For the Forest Service, these are known as forest 
plans, or "land and resource management plans 
for units of the National Forest System" ( 1 6 U.S.C. 
1604(a); 36 CFR219.10to 219.27). FortheBLM, 
"resource management plans [ai"e] prepared and 
maintained on a resource area basis" (43 CFR 
1610.1 (b)) . In eastern Oregon and Washington, 
the BLM still has a iew management framework 
plans in effect. These are the "previous 
generation" of land use plans, which are being 
replaced hy resource managementplans. 

Finally, individual, or activity-level, projects are 
evaluated through an environmental impact 
statement, environmental assessment, or 
categorical exclusion, depending on the 
anticipated significance of environmental impact. 
The environmental document is approved only if 
it is consistent with applicable Forest Service or 
BLM land use plans and other applicable 
environmental standards (16 U.S.C. 1604(1) and 
36 CFR223.30; 43 CFR 1610.5-3). Examples of 
these activity-level projects include timber sales 
and recreation trails. 

Plans for both Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands are designed to be consistent 
with national-level agency policies and regulations. 
BLM plans at the activity level are tiered to 
resource management plans or management 
framework plans, which may be based on State 
Director guidance. Forest Service activity-level 
plans mustbe consistent with forest plans, which 
in turn are based on regional guides. When 
needed, larger-scale multi-regional plans, such as 
the Eastside DEIS, may be developed to address 
issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. Forest 
health and anadromous fish species viability are 
two such issues. 

When a large-scale plan is prepared for 
management of federal lands on a regional or 
multi-regional basis, abroad overview EIS, or 
programmaticElS, can provide a valuable and 
necessary analysis of the affected environment 
and potential cumulative effects of the reasonably 
foreseeable actions under that program or within 
that geographical area. One or more analyses of 






■'.■<% .■" 



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lesser scope or a site-specific EIS or analysis can 
be tiered to a programmatic EIS. 

To comply with statutory obligations arising from 
the National Forest Management Act, Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act, National 
Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species 
Act, Clean Water Act, and other environmental 
laws, it is necessary to perform site-specific 
environmental analysis of activities prior to 
making an irreversible or irretrievable 
commitment of resources. It is virtually 
impossible to prepare a Forest Service or BLM 
land use plan and associated EIS with enough 
specificity to identify and adequately analyze all 
activities requiring environmental analysis that 
could occur in the 1 0-year planning period. 

Courts have recognized the difference in the 
nature of environmental impacts caused by such 
programmatic decisions, and the NEPA 
obligations are more limited. One court 
characterized forest plans in the following way. 
(This characterization is applicable to BLM 
resource management plans, as well.) 

[A forest plan] is, in essence, a 
programmatic statement of intent that 
establishes basic guidelines and sets 
forth the planning element that will be 
employed by the Forest Service in future 
site-specific decisions. 

It provides guidelines and approved 
methods by which forest management 
decisions are to be made for a period of 
10-15 years. Adoption of the plan does 
not effectuate any on-the-ground 
environmental changes. Nor does it 
dictate that any particular site-specific 
action causing environmental injury must 
occur. (Sierra Club v. Robertson. 28 F3d 
753 [8th Circuit 1994]). 

Thus, regional guides and Forest Service or BLM 
land use plans are only part of a multiple-level 
decision-making framework. It is the subsequent 
site-specific level of decision-making that affects 
the environmental status-quo. Site-specific 
decisions are made by local managers (Forest 
Supervisors, District Managers, District Rangers, 
Area Managers). These officials and their staffs 
are familiar with the issues presented and local 
conditions associated with the affected planning 
area and are charged with monitoring and 
evaluating the land use plan and proposing 
changes to it, as necessary, through amendment 
and revision. 



The Status of Planning 

During the late 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, 
the BLM and Forest Service released 
comprehensive land use plans and framework 
documents for individual National Forests and 
Grasslands and portions of BLM Districts. 
Appendix 1 - 1 includes a list of these plans and 
their effective date for the Eastside planning area. 
These plans remain in effect until amended or 
revised. The Forest Service is required by the 
National Forest Management Act to revise forest 
plans at least every 10 to 15 years. In general, 
BLM resource management plans (RMPs) are 
revised every 10 years. These management plans 
included general direction and specific land uses 
for individual administrative units, with an 
emphasis primarily on producing outputs of 
goods and sei'vices and on protecting or 
maintaining required levels of clean air, water, 
and habitat for viable populations of species. Any 
forest plan, resource management plan, or 
management framework plan currently under 
revision is being coordinated with this planning 
process and Draft EIS. The Southeast Oregon 
RMP is one such plan. 

Decisions made by the Forest Service and BLM 
based on the Eastside EIS are expected to amend 
existing land use plans and may amend regional 
guides, where they conflict with the new 
decisions. The relevant parts of the selected 
alternative will become part of these plans and 
will guide projectdecision-making until replaced 
through subsequent amendment or revision. 

For the purpose of the analysis and disclosure of 
environmental impacts, direction from the 
Record(s) of Decision for the Eastside EIS is 
assumed to be in place for approximately 10 
years. Direction (such as standards applicable to 
particular areas) that is specific to each 
individual administrative unit will be revisited at 
the time of land use plan revision. Direction 
(such as broad-scale objectives) that applies to 
multiple administrative units will remain in place 
to guide future plan amendments and revisions. 
It is the intent of the agencies that subsequent 
plan amendments or revisions for individual 
administrative units will be designed to meet this 
broad-scale direction. 



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Implications for Multiple 
Administrative Units 

The process for making programmatic decisions 
is described in both Forest Service regulations 
(36 CFR219) and BLM regulations (43 CFR 1600). 
Those processes were designed in the 1970s to 
facilitate planning for individual administrative 
units, and to address issues specific to those 
units. Conversely, the Eastside EIS and 
resulting decision will focus on broad-scale 
issues that cross jurisdictional boundaries. This 
focus will provide a broad context for 
management strategies that cannot adequately 
be developed at the BLM and Forest Service land 
use plan level. The purpose and need for the 
proposed action is much broader than a 
traditional Forest Service or BLM land use plan 
and EIS and is based on a different management 
approach ~ ecosystem-based management. 
Because of this broader focus, Forest Service 
and BLM planning regulations do not precisely fit 
the type of land use plan amendments that will 
occur if one of the action alternatives 
(Alternatives 3 through 7) were selected. 

Much of the management direction in this DEIS is 
applicable to multiple administrative units in 
aggregate rather than to individual units. As 
such, it is not possible to reliably predict actions, 
effects, or outputs for each unit. Moreover, 
determinations with respect to each administrative 
unit that would normally be made as part of the 
planning process are not possible. As with many 
planning concepts developed in the late 1970s 
and early 1980s, the regulations must be applied 
to the extent reasonable, given the current broader 
focus on ecosystem-based management and 
interagency cooperation as depicted in this EIS. 



The ICBEMP Assessment 
and EIS Process 

What Has Been Accomplished 
to Date 

The Science Integration Team (SIT) prepared an 
Integrated Scientific Assessmentfor Ecosystem 
Management in the Interior Columbia Basin and 
Portions of the Klamath and GreatBasins (Qulgley 



et al. 1 996a) and an Assessment ofEcosystem 
Components in the Interior Columbia Basin and 
Portions of the Klamath and Great Basins (Quigley 
and Arbelbide 1 996b) , collectively known as the 
Scientific Assessment and several smaller 
documents. The Science Team also created 
several databases and computer models. The 
databases contain information on vegetation, 
landform, climate, stream inventories, terrestrial 
species relationships, county indicators, and 
economic conditions. The models range from 
those that predict change in vegetation under 
different disturbance regimes to those that 
describe resiliency of human communities. 
Together, the documents, databases, and models 
provide the basis for an assessment of the project 
area, which was used by the EIS Teams to 
describe the Affected Environment (Chapter 2) . 

Database/information systems/information 
gathering for the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project generally can be 
categorized into five groups: 

♦ databases (more than 20 were acquired or 
developed); 

♦ CIS themes or layers (more than 1 70 were 
generated; see Appendix 4- 1 ) ; 

♦ expert panels/workshops (approximately 40 
were convened); 

♦ contract reports (more than 130 were used); 
and 

♦ current literature reviews. 

From an ecological perspective, the Science 
Integration Team developed an understanding of 
the status, condition, and trends associated with 
the components of the ecosystems and 
economies ofthe project area. They 
characterized the landscape and vegetation 
components from abroad perspective, 
addressing those elements that have been 
altered during the past 100 years. They 
developed the concept ofthe biophysical 
template, which is the successional and 
disturbance processes in an area together with 
landform, soil, water, and climate conditions that 
formed the native system in which plants and 
animals evolved. Terrestrial wildlife species and 
their habitats within the project area were 
characterized and examined from a broad 
perspective, bringing forward a reduced list of 
species that are likely to be at risk. The SIT also 
characterized and examined aquatic species and 
their habitats within the project area, drawing 






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from information about species abundance, 
distribution, diversity, and habitat inferences. 

Projections of risk to ecological integrity came 
primarily from a "functional" rather than an 
integrated perspective. Elements that affect the 
aquatic, terrestrial, and landscape systems were 
identified using common databases and 
assumptions about the future. These findings 
and projections provide useful considerations for 
managers as they examine future options and 
establish management policies. 

What is Yet to be Accomplished 

Because broad-scale, integrated, ecosystem- 
based planning and management over such a 
large area, as in the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project area, represents 
a newway of thinking, many items were not 
completed from an ecological perspective, as of 
the publication of this Draft EIS. These items, as 
follows, will be completed before publication of 
the Final ElS(s). 

The level of understanding brought forward with 
the models, databases, and GIS themes, makes 
possible a process of prioritization and integrated 
risk assessment that was not possible until now. 
For example, the EIS Team has adequate 
information to prioritize the most important habitat 
for aquatic species persistence. Witli that 
identification, the disturbance processes that are 
likely to affect these areas and that are likely to 
have the greatest negative impact on the aquatic 
system can be determined. The result would be an 
integrated risk statement related to broad-scale 
disturbance processes affecting aquatic systems. 

Information is also available to initiate the 
process of grouping terrestrial wildlife species, 
identifying the most important habitats for 
terrestrial species persistence, and identifying 
disturbances that cause greatest risk to their 
continued persistence. This information makes it 
possible to answer the integrated risk questions 
associated with terrestrial species and their 
habitats related to broad-scale disturbance 
processes. This should also make it possible to 
address the questions of connectivity and 
fragmentation regarding the most important 
habitat features for terrestrial species groups. 

Addressing the integrated risk questions from an 
ecosystem-based, or landscape, perspective 
allows the integration of aquatic management 



strategies with terrestrial management strategies 
and an evaluation of the risks associated with 
broad-scale disturbances and broad management 
direction/activities across the landscape. 



New Information and the 
Adaptability of Plans 

The Scientific Assessmentand the Eastside and 
UCRB EISs may provide significant new information 
within the meaning of the Council of Environmental 
Qualify regulations and the BLM and Forest Service 
planning regulations. This may require 
supplementation of NEPA documents, amendment 
or revision of plans, or reinitiation of consultation 
under the Endangered Species Act. Adjustments in 
land use plans are crucial to the agencies' ability to 
meet the continuing compliance and new 
information obligations of NEPA and other 
environmental laws. 

Each new piece of information raises new 
questions as it answers old ones. Recognizing 
this is a key feature of adaptive management. 
Continually assessing resources by looking at a 
broader scale, or perspective, as well as at a finer 
scale will enable managers to address the 
integrated risk questions. 

The alternatives brought forward in this Draft EIS 
create new understanding that will expand in the 
future. It can be thought of as a continuum of 
information and advances of knowledge. Adaptive 
management processes will be important from 
the broad scale on down to lower, more site- 
specific levels. If the ability to assess broad-scale 
conditions and risks are combined with adaptive 
processes on administrative units, then the 
selected alternative in the Final EIS could better 
attempt to manage risks to high-priority 
ecological and economic resources. 



Decisions That Will Be 
Made Through This 
Planning Process 

The Pacific Northwest Regional Forester and 
Oregon /Washington BLM State Director are the 
deciding officials for the Eastside EIS. Both 
officials are located in Portland. Oregon. 






'r<MaMB:3:lM0ixiMmM/:- 



Once the Final EIS has been completed, the 
responsible officials can decide to: 

♦ Select one of the alternatives analyzed 
within the Final EIS. including one of the No 
Action Alternatives (Alternative 1 or 2) ; or 

♦ Modify an alternative (for example, combine 
parts of different alternatives), as long as 
the environmental consequences of the 
modified action have been analyzed within 
the Final EIS. 

The alternative selected for implementationwill 
be documented in the Record(s) of Decision. 

Specific decisions involved in the selection of an 
alternative include adoption of: 

♦ management goals, 

♦ a desired range of future conditions 
expected over the next 50 to 100 years, 

♦ objectives to be used in measuring progress 
toward attainment of the management goals, 
and 

♦ standards, which are required actions to be 
used in designing and implementing future 
management actions. 

A list of guidelines, which are suggested 
techniques that should prove useful in meeting 
the objectives, are included in Appendix 3-2. In 
addition, each alternative specifies a range of 
management actions (for example, acres of 
rangeland improvement) needed to achieve the 
desired range of future conditions. Selection of 
an alternative does not mandate a specific level of 
activity. However, the identified range of 
management actions for the selected alternative 
will be used in developing future annual work 
plans and for monitoring the implementation of 
the ecosystem-based management strategy. 

Decision(s) made by the agencies will provide a 
large-scale ecological context for Forest Service 
and BLM land use plans. They also will help 
clarify the relationship of agency activities to 
ecosystem capabilities and will help develop 
realistic expectations for the production of 
economic and social benefits. Most decisions will 
focus on regional and subregional issues and 
establish desired landscape patterns, structure, 
and succession and disturbance regimes to 
address the issues. The decision(s) also will help 
establish general direction for management of 
habitat for threatened, endangered, and candidate 
species or communities of species that require 
integrated management across broad landscapes 



to assure viability. For the most part, fine-scale 
decisions will be deferred to individual 
administrative units after appropriate site- 
specific analysis. 

The Record(s) of Decision for the Eastside EIS are 
expected to amend current BLM and Forest 
Service land use plans. Forest Service regional 
guide, and BLM State Director guidance, where 
they conflict. The relevant parts of the Eastside 
EIS's selected alternative will become part of the 
amended plans and will guide activity-level 
decision-making until replaced through 
subsequent amendment or revision. 
Management direction and land allocations in 
existing plans not directly superseded by the 
Eastside Record(s) of Decision will remain in 
effect. The Record(s) of Decision also may change 
planning schedules and funding priorities, and 
will identify necessary changes to policy or 
suggest modifications to existing laws as needed 
to implement the decision. 

The alternatives analyzed in the Draft EIS include 
standards for rangeland health and guidelines for 
livestock grazing which are consistent with the 
BLM's grazing regulations (43 CFR 4 1 00) . Final 
standards for rangeland health and guidelines for 
livestock grazing are also being developed by the 
Healthy FJangelands initiative, a nationwide effort 
focusing on rangelands managed by BLM. BLM 
State Directors are developing these standards 
and guidelines in consultation with affected 
Resource Advisory Councils, Provincial Advisory- 
Committees, and others. These standards and 
guidelines are expected to be finalized in a 
separate document in August 1997. Objectives, 
standards, and guidelines being analyzed in this 
EIS affecting rangeland health and livestock 
grazing are compatible with BLM's Healthy 
Rangeland initiative. 

Fundamentals of Rangeland Health were 
established for the BLM in their new regulations 
signed February 22. 1995 (43 CFR 4 180). These 
fundamentals, described in the following 
paragraph, is the basis to be used to develop 
standards for rangeland health and guidelines for 
livestock grazing on BLM-administered land. 

Watersheds are in or are making significant 
progress toward properly functioning condition, 
including uplands, riparian areas and wetlands, 
and aquatic components; soil and plant conditions 
support infiltration, soil moisture storage, and the 
release of water that are in balance with climate 
and landform; and maintain or improve water 



wmmmMmmMmm 



quality, quantity, and the timing and duration of 
ilow. Ecological processes, including the 
hydrologic cycle, nutrient cycle, and energy flow 
are maintained, or there is significant progress 
toward their attainment to support healthy biotic 
populations and communities. Water quantity 
complies with state water quality standards and 
achieves, or is making significant progress toward 
achieving, established BLM management 
objectives, such as meeting wildlife habitat 
requirements. Habitats are or are making 
significant progress toward being restored or 
maintained for federal threatened, endangered, 
candidate, or other special status species. 

At a minimum, state or regional standards 
developed under the fundamentals of rangeland 
health must address the following: watershed 
function; nutrient cycling and energy flow; water 
quality; habitat for threatened, endangered, 
proposed, candidate, and special status species; 
and habitat quality for native plant and animal 
populations and communities. 

Northwest Forest Plan 

The planning area for the Eastside EIS overlaps 
with the easternmost area addressed in the 
Record of Decision/or Amendments to Forest 
Service and BLM Management Planning 
Documents Within the Range of the Northern 
Spotted Owl (Northwest Forest Plan April 13, 
1994). Map 1-3 shows this overlap. While the 
alternatives and corresponding analysis in this 
EIS include this overlap area, decisions in the 
Northwest Forest Plan would not be superceded 
by Eastside EIS decisions unless subsequent 
amendments were made per Northwest Forest 
Plan direction. 

Interim Direction 

The planning area also overlaps part or all of the 
land addressed in the Decision Notices for 
PACFISH, Eastside Screens, and Inland Native 
Fish Strategy (see Map 1-3). As directed in the 
Project Charter, the Eastside Record(s) of 
Decision will replace those interim strategies. 
This would include direction for both terrestrial 
and aquatic ecosystems. 



Lands Affected by the 
Decision 

The Eastside decision(s) would provide direction 
only for public lands administered by the Forest 
Service or the BLM in the planning area. The 
Record(s) of Decision based on this EIS would 
make no management decisions for and would not 
impose regulations on state, local (city or county) , 
tribal, or private lands in eastern Oregon and 
Washington. The decisions are not intended to 
affect rights, privileges, regulations, policies, or 
provisions made by state or local agencies or 
private landowners. 



Factors Affecting Selection 
andlmplementation of an 
Mtemative 



Many factors will or may affect implementation of the 
decisions made through this planning process. Some 
of these factors are listed below; 

Purpose and Need 

The action alternatives (Alternatives 3 through 7) 
must meet the purpose of and need for the proposed 
action, described earlier in this chapter. 

Scale of Decision 

The broad-scale nature of this planning process 
does not include site-specific decisions. Those 
will be made by local managers (District 
Managers, Forest Supervisors, Area Managers, 
and District Rangers) during smaller-scale 
planning processes. Many decisions in this 
planning process are based on information and 
projections over periods longer than 10 years. 
The adequacy and completeness of some types of 
data at this scale require discussion under 40 
CFR 1502.22. (See the Scale of Decision section 
in Chapter 4.) 

Valid Existing Rights 

Nothing in this plan can override valid existing 
rights or permits, such as water rights, mineral 
leases, mining claims, rights-of-way, livestock 
grazing permits, awarded contracts, and special 
use permits; however, to meet the objectives of 




Map 1-3. 

Interim Management 

Strategies and Northwest 

Forest Plan 



100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



^^" Northwest forest Plan 

C— -— 1 Inland Native Fish Strategy* 

I i PACFISH 

^^S Eastside Screens 



^■" Water 

'^^ Major Rivers 

^^^ Major Roads 

^^ EIS Area Border 



*Jhe Inland Native Fish Strategy applies to only those lands administered 
by the USPS and to bull trout habitat on BLM-administered lands. 



an alternative, some reasonable changes may be 
required in the way maintenance and operations 
are carried out. 

Decision Space 

In formulating an array of alternatives relating to 
management of public lands in the planning area, it 
is important for the decision space to be well defined 
and understood. That is, the decisions deciding 
officials canmake (including management activities 
and intensities on lands they administer) andean 
notmake (including activities on lands they do not 
administer) , or decisions assigned to another agency 
(such as changing water rights) , which fall under 
state jurisdiction. The decision space should 
demonstrate the degree of flexibility for 
management, and expected outcomes of land 
management actions at the landscape level (on each 
Forest Semce Ranger District or BLM Resource Area) . 

Various federal and state laws, such as the Clean 
Water Act, Clean Air Act. Endangered Species 
Act, and National Forest Management Act have 
minimum requirements or conditions 
(thresholds) that must be attained prior to or 
while conducting management activities. While 
these thresholds may define the lower limits of a 
decision space, the upper limit is often bounded 
by the biological potential, or maximum 
capabilities of the land and resources. This 
allows for a range of management options 
between the thresholds and the biological 
potential. Selection of a preferred alternative 
within that range of management options can then 
be focused on social, economic, or special 
resource considerations. In general, a 
combination of social, economic, and resource 
values will be greatest somewhere short of 
maximizing any one value, except where very 
limited opportunities, or rare and sensitive 
species or habitat conditions exist. 

Other Planning Efforts (Federal, 
State, Tribal, and Local) 

other federal agencies, and state, tribal, and local 
governments have been actively involved in the 
public involvement process for this Draft EIS as 
required by the National Environmental Policy 
Act, National Forest Management Act, Federal 
Land Policy and Management Act, and other 
regulations. During the comment period on the 
Draft EIS, there will be further opportunities to 
surface and resolve conflicts. 



The BLM's planning regulations require that its 
resource management plans be consistent with 
officially approved or adopted resource-related 
plans, and the policies and procedures therein, of 
other federal, state, and local agencies, and 
Indian tribes, so long as the resource 
management plans would still be consistent with 
applicable federal laws and regulations 
(43 CFR 1610.3-2). 

The Council on Environmental Qualify regulations 
in 40 CFR 1502. 16(c) require a discussion of 
"possible conflicts between the proposed action 
and the objectives of federal, regional, state, and 
local (and, in the case of a reservation, Indian 
tribe) land use plans, policies and controls for 
areas concerned." The Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act and National Forest Management 
Act require that federal land management agency 
plans identify consistencies and inconsistencies 
with other land use plans, such as planning and 
zoning efforts of local governments. The geographic 
scope of the Eastside and UCRB EISs, involving 
over 1 00 counties in the interior Pacific Northwest, 
make a consistency review effort more challenging. 

One effort undertaken during the planning process 
to ensure consistency with local planning efforts 
involved the collection and review of many county 
land use, economic development, and other plans 
which were submitted in late 1 994 and early 1 995. A 
summaiy report, the County /Community Vision 
Statement Project, completed in August 1995, for the 
Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management 
Project, reviewed 32 such plans. The Eastside 
Ecosystem Coalition of Counties assisted Project 
staff by requesting that local governments in the 
project area provide copies of their plans for review. 
State and tribal plans also were considered when 
analyzing cumulative effects. 

Relationship to Federal, State, 
and Local Environmental 
Protection Laws 

The Eastside EIS was prepared with 
consideration of relevant laws, policies, and 
regulations. Decisions must be consistent with 
many federal laws, including the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act, National Forest 
Management Act, Endangered Species Act, the 
American Indian Religious Freedom Act, National 
Historic Preservation Act. the Clean Air Act, and 
Clean Water Act (see Appendix 1 - 1 for a list of the 
most relevant federal laws) . 






/ ■'v^-n^.*h,&i,K#ft'A /^-■/'f^ >™'¥'f^V>T«r*>'^ 



Under the Endangered Species Act, federal 
activities that may have an effect on threatened or 
endangered species are subject to consultation 
with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or National 
Marine Fisheries Service. (Departments of 
Agriculture [Forest Service], Commerce [National 
Marine Fisheries Service] , and Interior [Bureau of 
Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service] Memorandum of Understanding dated 
May 31, 1995). Requirements for consultation 
will remain in effect under any selected 
alternative. If the selected alternative may have 
an effect on threatened or endangered species, 
then biological assessment(s) , appropriate for the 
scale of the decision, will be submitted to the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National 
Marine Fisheries Service for consultation. 
Consultation will be completed prior to any 
ground-disturbing activities. 

Some federal laws contain provisions for state 
administration of specific environmental 
programs or for making state laws applicable to 
federal lands and facilities. State and local laws 
relating to the health, safety, and welfare of 
people apply to activities on federal lands. 

Nothing in the alternatives in this Draft EIS 
precludes compliance or commits the agencies to 
any action which would violate such legal 
requirements. Compliance can be assured at 
smaller-scale planning levels. 

Federal Trust Responsibilities 
to Indian Tribes 



area are listed in Table 2-29 in Chapter 2. Other 
discussions of American Indian tribes are in 
Chapter 2, and in more detail in Appendix 1-2. 

Water Rights and Adjudications 

Conditions upon which this document is based 
are predicated on the availability of instream 
flows sufficient to maintain and restore channel 
conditions, provide for viable aquatic species 
such as fish, protect recreation flows in wild and 
scenic river areas, and provide for other needs 
under which the National Forests and certain 
BLM-administered lands were established. It is 
the position of the United States that the right to 
use water for management of public lands was 
reserved by the United States when the National 
Forests, wildernesses, wild and scenic river 
areas, national recreation areas, and certain 
BLM-administered lands were established. Those 
reserved water rights, as well as water rights 
claimed under state authority, are established 
through water rights adjudications and are 
beyond the scope of this EIS. The agencies' 
ability to meet the purposes for which these 
federal reservations were established, are 
predicated on having the minimum amount of 
water necessary for both instream and 
consumptive uses. The selected alternative may 
have effects that are different from those 
described in this EIS, and may not accomplish 
the purpose and need of the proposed action if 
sufficient water is not available to manage the 
public lands for their intended purpose. 

Mitigation Measures 



There are 22 federally recognized American 
Indian tribes within the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project Area, 1 7 of which 
have interests in the Eastside EIS planning area. 
The federal government has a trust and legal 
responsibility to American Indian tribes, which 
comes from commitments made by the United 
States in treaties, executive orders, and 
agreements. Upholding these tribal rights 
specified in the treaties, executive orders, 
statutes, and agreements constitutes the federal 
government's legal responsibility. The federal 
government also has a responsibility to consult 
with affected tribes whenever its actions affect 
the resources upon which tribal hunting, fishing, 
gathering, and grazing rights depend. 

The 1 7 federally recognized American Indian 
tribes that have interest in the Eastside planning 



The alternatives discussed in this Draft EIS were 
developed to provide various strategies to meet 
the purpose and need statement. As a practical 
matter, the. environmental effects from 
implementing any of the alternatives in the 
Eastside Draft EIS may require mitigation of 
various activities at local levels. See Chapter 4 
for more detail. 

Recovery Plans 

Recovery plans are technical scientific 
documents prepared by biological experts from 
tribes; federal, state, and local agencies: and in 
some cases the private sector. The plans identify 
specific actions to conserve and recover a 
particular species, and develop a plan to 






implement such actions. Recovery plans are 
formulated and carried out by a "recoveiy team," 
which is usually composed of a mix of tribal, 
governmental, and private sector individuals. 

The recovery plan process is one of the key focal 
points of the Secretaiy of Interior's efforts under 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as 
amended, to conserve and recover listed species. 
The Endangered Species Act authorized, but did 
not require, recovery plans to be dc;velopcd. 
Consequently, prior to 1978, recovery planning 
became a low priority within the Endangered 
Species Act budget process. However, in 1978, 
the Congress amended the Endangered Species 
Act, requiring the Secretaiy of the Interior 
(through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to 
develop and implement recovery plans for the 
"conservation and sun'ival" of listed species 
"unless he finds that such a plan will not 
promote the consei'vation of the species." The 
Secretary was also directed to establish a 
priority system lor development of recovery 
plans in which he gives priority to those species 
that are most likely to benefit from such plans. 
The Secretaiy must give public notice and 
opportunity to comment on proposed recovery 
plans and take into account any comment 
provided prior to I'inali/sing a recovery plan. 

Plant, animal, and fish species that have an 
approved recovery plan in the Eastside EIS area 
include the Borax Lake Chub, Lahontan 
cutthroat trout, grizzly bear, woodland caribou, 
gray wolf, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, 
MacFarlane's four-o'clock. For more information, 
see Appendix 2-1. 

Funding 

The Record(s) of Decision for this EIS may affect 
funding levels: however, decisions on Forest 
Sei^vice and BLM funding are made through other 
processes that are outside the scope of this 
planning process. Alternatives 2 through 7 (in 
Chapter 3) and effects of the alternatives (in 
Chapter 4) assume full funding for 
implementation at current funding levels. If full 
funding does not occur, then the rate of 
implementation will be decreased appropriately. 



Staffing Levels 

Like funding, staffing decisions are made 
through other processes that are outside the 
scope of this planning process. Standards will be 
met at any staffing level; however, the rate of 
implementation will be decreased appropriately if 
staffing levels decrease. 

Implementation Feasibility 

The feasibility of implementing the selected 
alternative, especially the location of those 
actions, must be determined by local Forest 
Service and BLM managers, in light of local 
circumstances and conditions. 



Determination of 
Significance of 
Amendment Under the 
National Forest 
Management Act 

Regional Guides 

The BLM does not have a mandatoiy level of 
planning that corresponds to the regional guides 
of the Forest Service. Currently, it appears that 
the objectives and standards in Chapter 3 will be 
adopted at the Forest and BLM District planning 
levels. However, after a Final EIS is prepared 
cind issued, a record of decision can be drafted 
which will make a determination as to whether 
any amendments to the regional guide will be 
made. 

Significant Amendments to 
Forest Plans 

The scale of thcScienti/ic Assessmentand this 
Draft EIS is broad enough that it is neither 
feasible nor appropriate to make fine-scale 
amendments to land use plans. With the 
possible exception of the aquatic consei'vation 
strategy, the alternatives are not specific to 
particular Forests or BLM Districts. None of the 
action alternatives would require a change in the 



roadless areas described in existing plans. No 
allowable sale quantity changes areneeded at this 
level of planning. Allowable salequantity 
determinations will be made in the revisions to Forest 
Service and BLM land use plans. 

In the usual forest planning situation, a Forest 
Supervisor determines the significant issues 
identified in scoping. For the ICBEMP planning 
process, the selection role was assigned to the 
Project Managers under the supervision of an 
Executive Steering Committee, comprised of 
Regional Foresters, BLM State Directors, and 
Forest Service Research Station Directors. The 
issues identified were neither appropriate nor 
suitable to address in the detail described in 
36 CFR 2 19. 1 2.(b)- (k). Topics such as planning 
criteria, inventory data and infomiation collection, 
analysis of management situation, and 
formulation of alternatives are controlled by the 
issues identified in scoping. This Draft EIS 
accomplished all of the steps in the significant 
amendment process as appropriate in estimating 
effects of alternatives, evaluation of alternatives, 
and selection of a preferred alternative. The 
Project Managers followed the Northwest Forest 
Plan process: therefore, the reconciliation with 
individual plans will be accomplished at a later date. 

Suitable Timber Acres 

Figures for acres of suitable timber in individual 
forest plans, as amended by the anticipated 
decision from this EIS, will be adjusted when the 
plans are revised. Until then, management 
activities must follow the goals, objectives, and 
standards from the Eastside EIS. as amended 
into the individual forest plans. 

Allowable Sale Quantity 

Allowable sale quantity figures for timber harvest 
will be adjusted when individual land use plans 
are revised. Chapter 4 estimates the broad-scale 
future timber sale volume. By the time plan 
revisions occur, the Forests and BLM Districts 
will have experience with applying the objectives 
and standards from the anticipated record of 
decision and will be able to make more realistic 
adjustments to allowable sale quantities. 

Road less Areas 

Current forest plans evaluate roadless areas. 
Wilderness Acts have been enacted for Oregon 
and Washington with "'release" language for 



roadless areas. Such language allows multiple- 
use management on areas not designated as 
wilderness. The current decision does not need 
to consider this issue again at this scale; 
however it will be considered during the forest 
plan revision processes. 

Management Indicator Species 

The National Forest Management Act planning 
regulations require Forest Service planning 
efforts to establish and address management 
indicator species for the planning area. 
Management indicator species are those plant 
and/or animal species selected because their 
population changes are believed to indicate the 
effects of management activities. This requirement 
is not applicable to BLM. The designation of 
management indicator species was made for each 
existing Forest Service regional guide and Forest 
Sei-vice'land use plan per'se CFR 2 19. 19(a). 
Decisions made through this effort will not 
change those designations. Upon future 
amendment or revision of existing Forest Sei'vice 
land use plans, management indicator species 
lists will be adjusted, as appropriate, in response 
to local conditions and information. 

Public Involvement 

Public involvement requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest 
Management Act have been met and exceeded in 
this planning effort. 

Disclosure 

Disclosure requirements of the National 
Environmental Policy Act and the National 
Forest Management Act have been met in this 
planning effort. 



Planning Criteria 
Under BLM Planning 
Regulations 

Planning criteria, a BLM regulatory requirement, 
were prepared to guide development of the 
Eastside EIS. In general, planning criteria are 
based upon applicable law; BLM Director and 
State Director guidance; and the results of 
public participation and coordination with other 



■:t^f^: 



federal, state, county, and local governments and 
Indian tribes. The criteria are: 

♦This planning action was driven by the 
statement of purpose, described earlier in 
this chapter. 

♦ The alternatives described and analyzed in 
this process arc (with the exception of the 
No Action Alternatives, [Alternatives 1 and 
2]) responsive to the statement of need, 
described earlier in this chapter, and to the 
significant issues identified by the public, 
described earlier in this chapter. 

♦ This planning action was based on data 
provided in the Integrated Assessment 
(Quigleyetal. 1996a) andAssessmento/ 
Ecosystem Components in the Interior 
Columbia Basin and Portions of the Klamath 
ai id. Great Basins(Qu igley and Arbclbide 



1996b) and on other published, peer- 
reviewed scientific literature. 

♦ The alternative management strategies 
described in Chapter 3 and analyzed in 
Chapter 4 are not intended to be more 
detailed or specific than theAssessment 
and other appropriate literature 
mentioned above. 

♦The detail and specificity of the alternatives 
was limited to that necessary to address 
the statement of need, described earlier in 
this chapter. 



Availability of Planning Records 

The Eastside EIS Planning Record includes data, documentation, 
and information used to prepare this analysis. 

Documents may be requested from or viewed at the Interior 
Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project office in Walla 
Walla. Local management plans and inventories are available at 
applicable BLM and Forest Service offices. 

If you would like more information please call (509) 522-4030, 
(509) 522-4029 (tty), or fax us at (509) 522-4025. 

More information can be c:)btained through the Internet at: 

http://www.icbemp.gov 




J^SS 



isim 



e 




Affed^ea 




2/11 YiFonini em 



i 



/^ 



=^ 



I 



Contenis 

Purpose and Organization of This Chapter 1 

Historical Conditions 4 

Positive Ecological Trends 4 

Ecological Reporting Units, Hydrologic Unit Codes, and Clusters 6 

Humans and Land Management: Snapshots in Time 10 

Physical Environment ^4 

Geology and Physiography 25 

Soils and Soil Productivity 2S 

Climate 23 

Air Quality 26 

Terrestrial Ecosystems 32 

Change on the Landscape 34 

Vegetation and Wildlife Classifications 38 

Forestlands 44 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 45 

Forested Potential Vegetation Groups 45 

Rangelands ^ 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 90 

Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups 91 

Aquatic Ecosystems ^6 

Hydrology and Watershed Processes T17 

Streams, Rivers, and Lakes I^S 

Riparian Areas and Wetlands 226 

Fish 133 

Summary of Conditions and Trends T-33 

Current Conditions 134 

KeySahnonids 242 

Native Species Richness, and Biotic and Genetic Integrity 160 

Human Uses and Values 1^^ 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 269 

Population 269 

Land Ownership and Uses 272 

Overview of Employment 288 

Communities 293 

Role of the Public 207 

American Indians ^^9 

Integrated Summary of Forestland, Rangeland, and Aquatic Integrity 226 

Measuring Integrity 227 

TheClusters 228 

Forest Clusters ^34 

RangeClusters 236 



Introduction 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Historical range of variability (HRV) ~ The natural fluctuation of components of healthy ecosystems over time. In this 
EIS, refers to the range of cond itions and processes that are likely to have occurred prior to settlement of the project area 
by people of European descent (approximately the mid-1800s), which would have varied within certain limits over time. 
Historical conditions and processes portrayed in this EIS include such variables as: vegetation types, compositions, and 
structures; fish and wildlife habitats and populations; and fire regimes. For purposes of comparison to current 
conditions, historical conditions in this EIS represent an estimated rrud-point within the historical range of variability. 
HRV is discussed only as a reference point, to establish a baseline set of conditions for which sufficient scientific or 
historical information is available to enable comparison to current conditions. 

Ecological integrity ~ In general, ecological integrity refers to the degree to which all ecological components and 
their interactions are represented and functioning; the quality of being complete; a sense of wholeness. Absolute 
measures of integrity do not exist. Proxies provide useful measures to estimate the integrity of major ecosystem 
components (forestland, rangeland, aquatic, and hydrologic). Estimating these integrity components in a relative 
sense across the project area helps to explain current conditions and to prioritize future management. Thus, 
areas of high integrity would represent areas where ecological function and processes are better represented 
and functioning than areas rated as low integrity. 

Planning area ~ Refers to either the Eastside EIS area or the Upper Columbia River Basin EIS area. 

Proj ect area ~ Refers to the entire Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project area, encompassing 
both EIS planning areas. 

Regional - Generally refers to either the planning area or the project area. In watershed discussions, also refers 
to 1st field Hydrologic Unit Codes; such as the Columbia Basin. 



Purpose and 
Organization of This 
Chapter 

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the 
existing environment, including conditions and 
trends, that will be affected by management 
alternatives in Chapter 3. Descriptions focus on 
lands administered by the Forest Service or 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in eastern 
Oregon and Washington [the planning area); 
however, discussion of the entireprq/ectarea 
(covered by both the Eastside and Upper 
Columbia River Basin [UCRB] EISs) is often 
necessary to provide context. 

Information about the physical, forestland, 
rangeland, aquatic, social, and economic setting 
is provided to: 

♦ Show specific changes from historical to current 
times within the project/planning areas, 

♦ Describe more fully the statement of needs 
explained in Chapter 1 , and 



♦ Lay the foundation for understanding and 
evaluating the alternatives discussed in 
Chapters 3 and 4. 

Where possible, information is organized by 
potential vegetation group and summarized by 
Ecological Reporting Units (ERUs). At the end of 
the chapter this information is integrated and 
reorganized into geographical clusters of areas 
within the project area where overall ecological 
conditions, opportunities, and risks are similar. 

This chapter focuses on portions of the 
environment that are directly related to 
conditions addressed in the alternatives (see 
Chapter 3). The description of the affected 
environment is not meant to be a complete 
portrait of the project area. Rather, it is intended 
to portray, at a regional scale, the significant 
conditions and trends of most concern to the 
public, the Forest Service, and the BLM with 
regard to lands administered by these two 
agencies within the project area. 

A detailed description of the project area is 
provided in the Integrated Scientific Assessment 
for Ecosystem Managem.ent in the Interior 



-< *.*J* K-l* 



J v. AUStatAnllttr 



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4Bji.^j^i.,,,tM^:,#ai»«*!^^s5i»ia^S<iA,^t«t4iUjTO<«<;»^ . 



ColumbiaBasin and Portions of the Klamath and 
Great BasinslQuigleyetal. 1996a: hereinafter 
referred to as the Integrated Assessment) andAa 
Assessment of Ecosystem Components in the 
Interior ColumbiaBasin and Portions of the 
Klamath and Great Basins (Quigley and 
Arbelbide 1996b; hereinafter referred to as the 
AEQ which is comprised of several Staff Area 
Reports or chapters. Both these documents 
comprise what is referred to as the Scientific 
Assessment or Assessment. 

The Affected Environment is based primarily on 
the individual chapters of the AEC f/ntroduction. 
Biophysical Environments, Landscape Dynamics, 
Aquatics, TerrestrialEcology, Economic. Social 
and Information System [GIS]) . The Scientific 
Assessment characterizes the entire project area, 
regardless of ownership, to set a context within 
which individual Forest Service or BLM 
administrative units can plan and conduct 
ecosystem-based management. Assessment 
findings are best used to understand trends on 
the overall landscape. Descriptions of site- 
specific conditions generally can be found in 
current land use plans available at local Forest 
Service or BLM offices. 



Readers should be aware that local conditions 
may reflect healthier or more degraded 
conditions than are discernible at the larger or 
regional scale addressed by this Environmental 
Impact Statement (EIS) . 

Approximately half of the project area is 
administered by either the Forest Service or the 
BLM; the remaining area is shared among other 
ownerships. Five other federal agencies (National 
Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Department of Energy, Bureau of Reclamation, 
and Department of Defense) administer lands in 
the project area (see Map 2- 1). However, as 
stated previously, management strategies of the 
Eastside EIS discussed in Chapter 3 and 
evaluated in Chapter 4 apply only to approximately 
30 million acres of land administered by the 
Forest Service or BLM in eastern Oregon and 
Washington. Table 2- 1 lists the affected BLM 
Districts and National Forests. Note that three 
National Forests in Idaho are listed; the Pacific 
Northwest Regional Forester is the deciding 
official for portions of these three National 
Forests, therefore, they are part of the Eastside 
EIS planning area. 



/f 



^^ 



Ecological Processes and Functions 

The terms "ecological processes" and "ecological functions" in general refer to the flow and cycling of energy, 
materials, and organisms in an ecosystem. Nitrogen, carbon, and hydrologic cycles, as well as energy flow in 
terrestrial systems, are among the ecological processes discussed in other sections of this chapter. Nitrogen and 
carbon cycles are shown in the Soils section, hydrologic cycle in the Aquatics section, and energy flow in the 
Terrestrial section. The following are additional functions and processes that are important to ecosystem health: 

Water capture. Water is effectively captured when sites maintain high infiltration rates and a high 
capacity for surface capture and storage of water. 

Water storage. Water is stored effectively when soil is stable and able to retain moisture; and when soil 
organic matter, well dispersed litter, and plant canopies that reduce evaporation losses from the soil are 
maintained. 

Water cycling. Water is cycled more effectively when it is released from a site in such a way that (1) low 
amounts of sediment are transported in runoff, (2) there is sufficient subsurface flow of water, and (3) 
plants and animals are able to use water for physiological functions. 

Nutrient and energy cycling. In healthy ecosystems, nutrients cycle and energy flows through a system 
in a pattern that is appropriate for the geoclimatic setting. 

Energy capture (photosynthesis). With historical disturbance regimes, plants are able to store resources 
necessary for drought survival, overwintering, and new growth initiation. They retain canopy cover, 
litter, and root systems sufficient to protect them from death or loss of vigor during stress periods. 

Adaptation. Animals have evolved along with their environments and have adapted to conditions 
on the landscape. Healthy ecosystems have sufficient food, cover, and other habitat attributes to 
maintain sufficient populations for reproduction, genetic interactions, and long-term survival. 



J 




Map 24. 
Other Federal Agency- 
Administered Lands 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



National Park Service I I Water 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife ■^'^ Major Rivers 

Dept. of Energy ■'^^ Major Roads 

Bureau of Reclamation ^"^ EIS Area Border 
Dept. of Defense 



Historical Conditions 

Throughout this chapter, reference is made to 
"historical conditions" or the " historical range of 
variability." "Historical" in this EIS is intended to 
represent conditions and processes that are 
likely to have occurred prior to settlement of the 
project area by people of European descent 
(approximately the mid- 1 800s) . Historical 
conditions and processes are portrayed in this 
EIS for a number of variables such as forestland 
and rangeland vegetation types, compositions, 
and structures; fish and wildlife habitats and 
populations; and fire regimes. These historical 
conditions would have varied over time. For 
purposes of comparison to current conditions, 
historical conditions referenced in this EIS 
represent an estimated mid-point within the 
historical range of variability. 

The historical period of pre-Euroamerican 
settlement was selected for this EIS only as a 
reference point, to establish a baseline set of 
conditions for which sufficient scientific or 
historical information is available to enable 
comparison to current conditions. Such a 
comparison is valuable to understand how 
ecological processes and functions operated with 
human uses, but prior to high human 
populations and contemporary technology. This 
can provide clues and blueprints for designing 
management strategies that maintain the 
integrity of those ecological processes under 
future management strategies. In many cases, it 
is neither desired nor possible to return to actual 
historical conditions. 

Positive Ecological Trends 

The nature of the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project has been to focus 
on what is going wrong with ecosystems, then to 
determine what changes to management activities 
are necessary to improve ecological conditions. 
Much of the discussion in Chapter 2 emphasizes 
these needed changes. 

Although some ecosystems have declined in 
health, many ecological conditions and trends 
have improved in the past two decades. Some 
areas where improvement has been achieved over 
the last 10 to 20 years on Forest Service- or BLM- 
administered lands are as follows: 



♦ Soil productivity ~ best management 
practices in use today reflect improved 
understanding of the sensitivity of soils to 
various treatments, especially at the fine 
scale, or local level. 

♦ Road construction and management" best 
management practices in use today reflect 
an improved understanding of negative 
effects of roads. New road construction and 
maintenance of permanent roads occurs 
with greater understanding of drainage, 
erosion potential, fish passage concerns, 
slumpage problems, and other hazards. 
Much remains to be addressed in the future 
especially with secondary and closed roads. 

♦ Range management and rangeland conditions" 
the current condition of rangelands appears to 
be the best it has been since the turn of the 
century. However, this is not agreed upon by 
all (National Research Council 1994). The 
declining condition of riparian areas has, for the 
most part, been slowed or stopped, and 
managers are acquiring a better understanding 
of how to alleviate the negative effects of 
management practices on riparian areas. The 
BLM and Forest Service are placing a heavy 
emphasis on proper management of riparian 
areas in land use plans. 

♦ Many high-profile threatened or endangered 
species are protected ~ species such as the 
grizzly bear and bald eagle have recovery plans 
in place, which are being implemented. 
Attention has shifted to those species with less 
public attention. Probably no vertebrate 
species have become regionally extinct in 
historic times. 

♦ Landscape approach recognition" overall, 
land managers within the project area have 
recognized the need for a landscape 
approach to management of resources; that 
is, considering all components of a 
landscape, not just the trees or the riparian 
habitat, for example. On-the-ground 
managers appear ready and willing to 
initiate the change. 

♦ Prescribed fire techniques" techniques available 
for prescribed fire within the project area have 
improved. Avarietyofconditionscannowbe 
achieved from the application of prescribed fire 
using different treatments. 



rXft, '>'"vfi-.A,<ii «>**o.v . 



Table 2- 1 . National Forests and BLM Districts Affected by the Eastside EIS. 



State 



National Forest or BLM District 



Acres Affected^ 



Oregon 



Bums BLM District 

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (FS) 

Crooked River National Grassland 

Deschutes National Forest^ 

Fremont National Forest 

Lakeview BLM District 

Malheur National Forest 

Medford BLM District 

Mount Hood National Forest 

Ochoco National Forest 

Prineville BLM District 

Umatilla National Forest 

Vale BLM District 

Wallowa- Whitman National Forest^ 

Winema National Forest 

Oregon Total 



3,417,000 

6,000 

117,000 

1,584,500 

1,140,000 

3,382,000 

1,459,500 

500 

330,500 

847,000 

1,648,000 

1,068,500 

5,043,000 

2,249,000 

1,037,500 

23,330,000 



Washington 



Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (FS) 

Colville National Forest 

Gifford Pinchot National Forest 

Okanogan National Forest 

Spokane BLM District 

Umatilla National Forest 

Vale BLM District 

Wenatchee National Forest 



Washington Total 



8,000 

1,088,000 

187,500 

1,497,500 

347,000 

311,000 

10,500 

2,192,000 

5,641,500 



Idaho 



Nez Perce National Forest 
Payette National Forest 
Wallowa- Whitman National Forest 



Idaho Total 



4,500 

4,000 

131,000 

139,500 



Eastside EIS Total 



29,111,000 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
EIS = environmental Impact statement 
FS = Forest Service 

' Acres listed are only thiose administered by the BLM or the Forest Service. 
^ Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument acres included. 
^ Hells Canyon National Recreation Area acres included. 

Source: ICBEMP GIS data (converted to 100 x 100 meter grid and rounded to nearest 500 acres). These totals 
will not match official government land office (GLO) totals or those shown elsewhere in document that were 
calculated from a 1 000 x 1 000 meter grid ( 1 km^] . 






♦ Forest management approaches ~ the last 1 
years have seen substantial change in the 
treatments applied to forested areas, both in 
harvest techniques and silvicultural 
treatments. Managers have a wider array of 
options to select as treatments with more 
benign effects. 

♦ Recognition of exotic species and their 
influence ~ the relatively recent and rapid 
expansion of exotic species and their impact 
on ecosystems is receiving more attention by 
resource managers, who recognize that 
management aimed at preventing the spread 
and reducing the extent of exotics is necessary. 
Scientists are testing and developing 
combinations of control methods that are 
promising for control of exotic plant species. 

♦ Interaction with a wide array of publics ~ 
recent trends have been for managers to have 
more open discussions earlier in planning 
processes with a wide array of publics. 



Ek^ological Reporting 
Units, Hydrologic Unit 
Codes, and Clusters 

Ecological Reporting Units 

The project area was divided into 13 geographic 
areas called Ecological Reporting Units (ERUs; 
see Map 1-1) to provide a consistent way for the 
Science Integration their findings in the 
/ritepratedAssessment(Quigley etal. 1996a) and 
the various chapters of An Assessment of 
Ecosystem Components in the Interior Columbia 
Basin and Portions of the Klamath and Great 
BasinslAEC) (Quigley andArbelbide 1996b). 
The ERUs were developed specifically for 
consistent reporting purposes, not for analysis or 
implementation. The 13 ERUs were identified by 
a process that integrated human uses and 
terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem data. They are 
the basis for reporting information on ( 1) the 
description of biophysical environments, (2) the 
characterization of ecological processes, (3) the 
discussion of past management activities and 
effects, and (4) the identification of landscape 
management opportunities. 

The Eastside EIS planning area contains part or 
all of eight ERUs. The Northern Cascades (ERU 
1), Southern Cascades (ERU 2), Upper Klamath 



(ERU 3) , and Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) are 
completely within the Eastside planning area. 
The Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) , Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6), Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7), 
and Owyhee Uplands (ERU 1 0) are within both 
the Eastside and Upper Columbia River Basin 
planning areas. Further characterizations of these 
eight ERUs can be found in the Physical 
Environment section of this chapter. When 
possible, descriptions of the Affected Environment 
are described by ERU; however, not all socio- 
economic or ecological processes confonm to ERU 
boundaries. Where this occurs, discussions are 
within the appropriate context. Land ownership 
(BLM/Forest Service-administered, state, other 
federal, tribal, and private) for each ERU in the 
Eastside planning area is in Table 2-2. 

Hydrologic Unit Codes 

For the purposes of analyzing and summarizing 
much of the physiographic (the formation and 
evolution of landforms), aquatic, and vegetative 
information collected in theScientific Assessment, a 
hierarchy of watersheds and watershed boundaries 
was identified by the Science Integration Team (see 
Table 2-3 and Figure 2-1). The identification 
system follows the numeric hydrologic unit coding 
system usedbytheU.S. Geological Survey (USGS) . 
For larger watersheds, "Regions," "Subregions," 
"Basins," and "Sub-basins" (4th field), boundaries 
and their numeric hydrologic unit codes were 
adopted without change from those identified by 
the USGS. For smaller watersheds, "Watersheds" 
(5th field) and "Subwatersheds" (6th field) , were 
identified as part of the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project process. Within 
eastern Oregon and Washington, there are 3, 500 
subwatersheds averaging approximately 20,000 
acres each. These subwatersheds (6th field) are 
the basic characterization unit for the Scientific 
Assessment, and were the basic mapping unit for 
identifying ERUs. Therefore, the boundaries of 
ERUs coincide with subwatershed boundaries. 
The subwatersheds mapped as part of this project 
do not necessarily match those that have been 
previously mapped by administrative units of the 
Forest Service or BLM. 

Clusters 

As a final step in the analysis, to provide an 
understanding of the bigger picture, the Science 
Integration Team integrated and regrouped initial 
information to evaluate the relative integrity of 
ecosystems in the project area. Forested, rangeland, 






s ^am-ftsfl«<^gXSt,iWi" .1C™>& v,Ci!w,AX^~? 2^'"'''*^V^i*AK^t*Wi^i;/;;:^i^:^£^(^ S3Mf <^*J!«'i-3^«;^ >^ 5 Sn.*% ^ ^i«f**«^ !*;SA '"^ ,^i^^ 



Table 2-2. Eastside EIS Land Ownership by ERU. 


Ecological Reporting Unit 


BLM/FS State and Other Federal 


Tribal 


Private 


Northern Cascades 
(ERU 1) 


in thousands 
3,438 658 


of acres 

730 


1,510 


Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) 


1,966 73 




314 


1,098 


Upper Klamath 
(ERU 3) 


1,812 133 







1,950 


Northern Great Basin 
(ERU 4) 


7,573 617 




17 


2,145 


Columbia Plateau 
(ERU 5) 


2,584 1,946 




685 


16,317 


Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6) 


6,251 94 




4 


5,567 


Northern Glaciated Mountains 
(ERU 7) 


1,468 497 




1,562 


3.526 


Owyhee Uplands 
(ERU 10) 


3,967 373 




0.2 


1,318 



Abbreviations useci in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
EIS = Environmental Impact Statement 
ERU = Ecological Reporting Unit 
FS = Forest Service 

Source: ICBEMP GIS data (converted to 1 km^ raster data). 





Table 2-3. Hierarchy of Watersheds 








Hierarchy 
Term 


Hydrologic Unit 
Code (HUC)i 


Number in 
Planning Area^ 


Example Size of Example 
Watershed (acres) 


Region 


Ist-field 




3 


Columbia River 


165,757,1513 


Subregion 


2nd-field 




10 


Lower Snake River 


22,399,615 


River Basin 


3rd-field 




16 


Lower Snake River 


7,487,871 


Sub-basin 


4th-field 




93 


Upper Grande Ronde River 


1,049,582 


Watershed 


"5th-field" 




1,308 


Mclntyre Creek 


47,999 


Subwatershed 


"6th-field" 




3,500 


Mclntyre Creek 


17.920 



' Ist-field thru 4th-field HUCs were formally designated by the U.S. Geological Survey. "5th-field" and "6th-field" 
HUCs were designated for the project area (Hann et al. 1996). 

^ Includes all watersheds that are entirely or partly within the Eastside planning area. 

^ The area of the Columbia River watershed includes the entire basin, including portions outside the project area 
west of the crest of the Cascade Range and in Canada. 



Figure 24. Hydrologic Hierarchy 



t,^-,^. 



/ 







200 Miles 



Subwatershed 

(Wh-Fleld Hydrologic Units) 

Mclntyre Creek 




2 Miles 



10 Miles 



LEGEND 



A' State Boundaries N Outer HUC Boundary N 6th-Field Hydrologic Units 

V Project Area N 4th-FieId Hydrologic Units A/' 100k Stream Layer 



'^ 



Ecological Integrity and Ecosystem Health 

The Science Integration Team (SIT) used the term "integrity" to refer to the ecological conditions of an 
ecosystem. Integrity generally means the quality or state of wholeness or being complete and 
unimpaired. Ecological integrity specifically was used by the SIT as a measure of the presence of 
physical and biological processes, patterns, and functions. 

Because there are not direct measures of integrity, "proxies" or substitutes were selected to represent 
the broad array of functions, processes, and conditions. For example, the proportion of the area where 
fire severity and frequency had changed between historical and current periods was used as one of 
the proxies to represent such elements as consistency of tree stocking levels with long-term 
disturbances and the effect of wildfire on the composition and patterns of forest types. Proxies such 
as these were used to estimate current conditions and project trends in integrity into the future. 

Ecological integrity is difficult to measure directly for several reasons. First, we can never know 
exactly what is in any particular ecosystem, because of the size, complexity, and ambiguous nature of 
most of their parts and processes. Second, the structure, function, and composition of ecosystems are 
always changing. Third, ecosystem changes are only partially predictable; they respond to a 
combination of internal processes and outside influences. And finally, the boundaries we put on 
ecosystems are artificial lines, making it hard to know when you are looking at an entire system or a 
part of one or more systems. 

Therefore, integrity was estimated in a relative sense. Where forest, rangeland, and aquatic system 
processes and functions were present and operating best in the project area, integrity was rated higher 
than areas where these functions and processes were not operating. These estimates represented such 
elements as water cycling, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and maintenance of viable populations of 
plants and animals. 

The notion of ecological integrity is part of the broader concept of ecosystem health used in the Draft 
EIS. The EIS Teams used the term "health" to refer to the capacity of forest, rangeland, and aquatic 
ecosystems to persist and perform as expected or desired in a particular area. Varying degrees of 
"wholeness" or integrity may be needed to enable a particular place to be used in the manner desired 
by society both now and in the future. Some uses will demand different mixes of fire regimes, water 
cycles, and energy flow resultiiig in differences in productivity, resilience, and renewability. The mix 
of these elements of "integrity" that would allow us to achieve a particular management objective in a 
particular place will define what is "healthy" for that area. 

For example, in some areas such as near developed recreation sites or areas with scattered homes, 
restricting the presence of fire as a process may be important to achieving the broad goals for an area. 
The result may mean lower ecological integrity than if the fire regimes were allowed to operate fully, 
but might be judged as healthy from an ecosystem perspective because it is meeting the expectations 
of society. Another example might be managing to restrict riparian flooding, which from an 
ecological frame of reference would reflect lower integrity than if the flooding were to be present, yet 
this area might contribute to the overall ecosystem health because it is favorably contributing to 
society's goals. 

Ecosystem "health" thus can be thought of as encompassing both ecological integrity and what people 
want to do with the land. Ecosystem health includes not only how "intact" the ecological processes 
and functions need to be compared to their capabilities in order to accomplish current and future 
management objectives, but it also includes measures of social and economic resiliency, management 
philosophies and goals, and other human factors. 



J 






hydrologic , and aquatic systems were considered in 
deriving measures of integrity (see the last section of 
this chapter). Rather than simply describe the 
vegetation and other resources, this eflFort attempted 
to answer three questions: 

1. Where are the areas of relatively high or low 
ecological integrity across the project area? 

2. Where are the opportunities to improve 
integrity? 

3. What risks to integrity exist from management 
actions? 

New groupings or "clusters" of sub-basins were 
mapped, identifying forest and rangeland 
ecosystems where the condition of the vegetation 
and ecological functions and processes are 
similar, and where opportunities and risks are 
similar. These clusters form the basis of 
discussion in the last part of this chapter, and for 
the development and evaluation of alternatives in 
Chapters 3 and 4. 



Humans and Land 
Management: Snapshots 
in Time 

Humans have been a part of the project area's 
ecosystems for many centuries. The story of how 
the environment has influenced people and how 
people have influenced the environment provides 
a valuable context for the alternatives in Chapter 3. 
It has taken decades for the condition of the 
environment to be what it is today, and it may 
take decades to change conditions to what people 
desire them to be. This concise overview was 
written to provide readers with an introduction 
to the chapter and snapshots of this history. 
More detailed accounts are included in the rest 
of this chapter, and in the Scienttjic Assessment 
(Quigleyetal. 1996a,b). 

First Settlement (pre-lSOOs) 

Sui"vival dictated movements of the project area's 
first human inhabitants more than 1 2,000 years 
ago. These first people adapted culturally and 
socially to major climatic, environmental, and 
resource distribution changes, forming 
attachments to places they visited seasonally. 
Archeological evidence indicates that they were 
hunting nomads who followed big game herds 
and maintained settlements in riverine, lake, and 



wetland environments. As the climate 
moderated over the past 4,000 years, their 
settlement, land use, and seasonal migration 
strategies and patterns apparently shifted to 
more diversified systems with a greater use of 
upland and mountainous environments. These 
migratory settlement patterns allowed 
landscapes to recover during periods of non-use. 

Natural resources were, and still are, culturally 
significant to these people because they were an 
integral part of all aspects of their culture. 
Hundreds of plant and animal species, 
landscapes, minerals, and natural processes 
(such as weather) developed cultural significance 
through subsistence, religion, traditional stories, 
commerce, social values, and other mechanisms. 

These first people actively participated and 
interacted with ecosystems in many ways. They 
routinely started fires to aid their hunting and 
encourage growth of certain culturally-significant 
plants. These fires differed from lightning- 
caused fires in terms of season, frequency, and 
intensity (Lewis 1985). Tribes kept large herds 
of horses, which were introduced in the 1700s 
and early 1800s by Euroamericans. These non- 
native species grazed large portions of the 
project area. The intensity and frequency of 
these grazing patterns differed from those of 
native big game species. 

Pioneer Settlement (1800s) 

The earUest Euroamerican contact with native 
cultures in the project area occurred during the 
Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804 to 1 805; soon 
thereafter, the region opened up to further 
exploration, fur trade, military posts, missionary 
work, and settlement. The United States 
government encouraged western settlement. 
Private citizens, railroad companies, and timber 
and mining interests were granted free land in 
exchange for meeting various development 
requirements. The evolution of transportation from 
walking, to horses and wagons, to locomotives, 
played a major role in commercial development of 
the area. By the 1880s it was possible to arrive 
in the Pacific Northwest in five days by rail, 
instead of the five months it took by wagon train. 

Survival was the European settlers' driving force; 
however, their survival tactics had little in 
common with those of native people. The 
European settlers felt their survival depended on 
conquering nature. For example, the Hudson's 



^^;w33^^!S4i>«^^K^.^5S?^V 






Bay Company held a near-monopoly on the fur 
trade in the project area, trapping fur-bearing 
animals of the Snake River plains to extinction to 
discourage potential competitors. Many 
European settlers also had little concept of 
limits, particularly where natural resources were 
concerned--they saw the west as a vast area with 
a limitless supply of raw materials. 

To settlers accustomed to the lush landscapes of 
eastern hardwood forests, the Snake River plains 
seemed too dry, rocky, and forbidding to 
consider staying. From 1840 to 1860 most 
overland migrants passed through the Columbia 
Basin and continued onto the Willamette Valley's 
greener pastures and proximity to navigable 
waters. This began to change with the discovery 
of gold in the project area. 

As the land became settled and developed, the 
natural environment began to change. For 
example, waterways were altered when beaver 
dams washed away when beavers were trapped 
out of the area. Further changes occurred when 
settlers built dams for irrigation, and later, to 
generate power. Fish habitats were forever 
altered. Other changes occurred when settlers 
trapped predators, such as wolves, cougars, and 
coyotes, that were preying on their livestock. As 
a result, predators' traditional prey, such as elk, 
deer, and antelope, experienced rapid population 
growth. Overgrazing by both wild and domestic 
animals altered vegetation. Anecdotal reports 
and photographs showed summer ranges so laden 
with sheep that they appeared to be snow drifts. 

Euroamericans changed native people's cultures 
as well. Effects included: disease, epidemics, 
population shifts, cultural changes, 
accommodations to new trade systems and 
goods, new native religious movements, and 
competition for lands, traditional places, and 
resources. The notion of land ownership was 
foreign to American Indians, and therefore was a 
source of conflict. This period of direct 
competition and conflict between native and 
Euroamerican people resulted in a treaty-making 
period that ended in 1871. Treaties between 
Indian tribes and the United States government 
gave tribes exclusive title to reservation lands. 
Indian reservations were seen by both parties as 
a way to limit conflicts and allow tribes to "have 
their own land." Treaties also established trust 
responsibilities for the federal government, in 
which the government promised access to lands 
for traditional uses, such as hunting, fishing, 
gathering, and livestock grazing. 



Recognizing Limits (early to 
mid-1 900s) 

In the early 1 900s, tribal negotiations with state 
and federal agencies met with mixed results 
concerning treaty reserved rights to subsistence 
activities. Newly created federal agencies 
developed management actions and policies that 
applied to public lands. American Indians' way of 
life and use of the land and its resources began 
being altered. They seasonally sought out familiar 
resources and places, regardless of ownership, 
developing understandings and trade opportunities 
with landowners. Traditional lifeways persisted 
even as Indians increasingly conformed to regional 
non-Indian lifestyles. During economically 
depressed periods, renewed reliance on traditional 
foods and other practices helped sustain many 
tribal economies. 

The way European settlers used and viewed the 
land began being altered as well. By the 1900s, 
resource extraction was a major part of the west's 
economic base. After discovery of valuable 
mineral deposits throughout the West, the Mining 
Law of 1872 set direction for mining activity on 
public lands. Establishment of the Reclamation 
Service in 1902 led to construction of a vast 
network of dams, canals, and ditches that 
hastened settlement of the arid lands of the 
project area- paid for with profits from the sale 
of western lands. As resources were used and 
land was settled, people began to realize that 
natural resource supplies were limited. They 
clamored for a public land management strategy 
that would ensure future supplies of natural 
resources. The Congress responded by 
creating federal land management agencies 
responsible for managing public lands for 
sustainable natural resource production. The 
Forest Reserves, the Forest Service's 
predecessor, was formed in 1891. The Bureau 
of Land Management's predecessor, the 
Grazing Service, was established in 1934. In 
1916, the National Park Service was created to 
administrate the growing set of National Parks 
and monuments. 

The agencies began to set and enforce land use 
limits. Many settlers were outraged. Their 
independence, judgement, and momentum- all 
the characteristics that had made them 
successful ~ were now being questioned and 
curtailed by the federal government. 









The early Forest Service was guided by the 
Organic Act (1897) which stated that "dead, 
matured, or large growth of trees" could be 
designated and sold for the appraised value. 
The act further specified that harvest would 
preserve living and growing timber, and 
promote younger growth. The agency's mission 
was also defined by a multiple-purpose policy 
adopted in 1905: "Provide the greatest good for 
the greatest number in the long run." 

Similarly, the Taylor Grazing Act (1937) gave 
specific direction to the Bureau of Land 
Management. By leasing public lands to 
stockraisers, the act sought to "stop injury to 
the public grazing lands (excluding Alaska) by 
preventing overgrazing and soil deterioration; 
to provide for their orderly use, improvement, 
and development; (and) to stabilize the 
livestock industry dependent upon the public 
range." After nearly a century of policies to 
dispose of public lands, the federal government 
began to view the remaining public domain as a 
storehouse to sustain productive values. 

Commodity Production 
(mid-1 900s} 

Public priorities shifted as the United States 
went through two World Wars and the Great 
Depression. The Depression brought an 
unexpected benefit to public land management, 
the Civilian Conservation Corps, a federal program 
designed to put men back to work. Participants 
built an infrastructure for public lands including 
hundreds of Forest Service roads, stock watering 
projects, ranger stations, campgrounds, and 
telephone systems. When public demand for 
natural resources increased exponentially, the 
agencies were able to meet expectations. 

Both wars brought economic prosperity and a 
heightened demand for resources such as 
timber, livestock, and minerals. Three things 
caused the federal land management mission to 
change: the post-war housing boom; the 
prediction that there would be a rising, long- 
term demand for timber; and private timber 
shortages. In 1944 the Administration decided 
that forested federal lands would become 
active timber sources rather than timber 
reserves. Timber production skyrocketed. 
From 1945 to 1970, timber harvest on federal 
lands in the project area increased about 5 
percent per year, or 50 percent faster than the 
growth of the national economy. 



Environm.ental Awareness 
(late 1900s) 

The 1960s brought increasingly complex and 
conflicting demands on public land 
management within the project area. This 
change was symbolized by the debate over 
dams in Hells Canyon; the issue became not 
Just how many dams should be constructed or 
who should build them, but whether the river 
was more valuable undeveloped and free- 
flowing. Wilderness enthusiasts and others 
sought to put recreation on an equal footing 
with extractive uses. Traditional users- 
loggers, ranchers, and miners- argued for 
greater allocation to their particular needs. 
Members of a growing environmental 
movement wanted land management decisions 
to be based on interdisciplinary scientific 
information. The public had one common 
opinion: they wanted to be actively involved in 
land management decisions. 

In recent years the Forest Service and BLM 
have experienced a transition in management 
emphasis, resulting from additional scientific 
knowledge, increased public environmental 
awareness, new legislation enacted by the 
Congress, and challenges in court. The Forest 
Service and the BLM are still required to 
supply resources for public use and allow 
access to commodity resources. Both agencies 
are also required to protect and improve 
natural resources. 

Recent and long-standing legislation pertaining 
to natural resources and federal land 
management enacted by the Congress has 
created a complex collection of regulations that 
often result in conflicting management 
applications. Early legislation concerning 
federal land management activities primarily 
emphasized production and use of resources 
(General Accounting Office Report on 
Ecosystem Management, August 1994). The 
Congress enacted legislation creating 
incentives to provide specific levels of certain 
natural resource commodities and other uses 
from public land administered by the Forest 
Service or the BLM. Both agencies are 
required to share receipts from the sale or use 
of natural resources with the states or 
counties within which the activities occur. For 
many years congressionally appropriated funds 
have been linked to managing and harvesting 
timber, minerals, and livestock forage, as th.e 






Congress specified "target" levels of timber 
sales, along with the production of other goods 
and services from these lands. 

More recently, increasing scientific and public 
concern about declining conditions of natural 
resources led the Congress to enact laws to 
protect specific natural resources. These laws 
include the Clean Water Act (1948), the Clean 
Air Act (1955), and the Endangered Species Act 
(1973). The Congress encouraged research on 
National Forests by enacting the Forest and 
Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act 
of 1978, and the Cooperative Forestry 
Assistance Act of 1 978. 

Recognizing that activities on federal lands 
relate to protection of natural resources, the 
Congress also enacted a series of procedural 
laws requiring federal agencies to identify and 
disclose the potential effects of their activities. 
Primary among these laws is the National 
Environmental Policy Act (1969), which 
requires federal agencies to identify and 
consider the direct, indirect, and cumulative 
effects of activities on federal land, both alone 
and in conjunction with the activities of other 
agencies and landowners. The Forest and 
Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act 
(1 974) , the National Forest Management Act 
(1976), and the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act (1976) all contain requirements 
for the Forest Service and/or BLM to develop 
long-term land management plans. 

These laws continue to be interpreted through 
federal courts, sometimes requiring 
adjustments in how the Forest Service and 
BLM plan for and administer these lands. 



,i"S->jL_."l* • 



Physical Environment 



/r 



=\ 



*^ 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Alluvial (alluvium) ~ General term for clay, silt, sand, or gravel deposited in recent geologic time as a result of a 
river. Includes the sediments laid down in river beds, flood plains, lakes, and fans at the foot of mountain slopes. 

Climate ~ The composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region throughout the year, averaged over a 
series of years. 

Fluvial ~ Of, or pertaining to, rivers; produced by river action, as a fluvial plain. 

Geology ~ The science that deals with the physical history of the earth. 

Geologic/geomorphic processes ~ The actions or events that shape and control the distribution of materials, their 
states, and their morphology, within the interior and on the surface of the earth. Examples of geologic processes 
include: volcanism, glaciation, streamflow, metamorphism (partial meting of rocks), and landsliding. 

Geomorphology ~ The geologic study of the shape and evolution of the earth's landforms. 

Igneous ~ Rocks formed by molten lava becoming solid. Basalt is an igneous rock. 

Fuel ladder ~ Vegetative structures or conditions such as low-growing tree branches, shrubs, or smaller trees that 
allow fire to move vertically from a surface fire to a crown fire. 

Metamorphic - Rocks formed in response to pronounced changes of temperature, pressure, and chemical environment. 

Microbiotic (crust) ~ Thin crust of living organisms on the soil, composed of lichens, mosses, algae, fungi, 
cyanobacteria, and bacteria. These crusts play a role in nutrient cycling, soil stability and moisture, and interactions 
with vascular plants. 

Physiography ~ Pertaining to the study of the formation and evolution of landforms. 

Soils ~ The earth material which has been so modified and acted upon by physical, chemical, and biological agents that 
it will support rooted plants. 

Soil productivity ~ (1) Soil productivity: the capacity of a soil to produce plant growth, due to the soil's chemical, 
physical, and biological properties (such as depth, temperature, water-holding capacity, and mineral, nutrient, and 
organic matter content). (2) Vegetative productivity: the total quantity of organic material produced within a given 
period by organisms. (3) General: the innate capacity of an environment to support plant and animal life over time. 

Tectonic ~ Relating to, causing, or resulting from structured deformation in the earth's crust. 

Till ~ Nonsorted, nonstratified sediment carried or deposited by a glacier. 



J 



Introduction 

Geology, geologic processes, and climate form 
the physiographic framework in which ecologic 
processes operate. For the most part, geologic 
and climatologic conditions, processes, and 
disturbances cannot be modified by management 
activities. Watershed, soil, and atmospheric 
conditions and processes, also part of the 
physiographic setting, can and have been 



significantly modified by management activities. 
All of these elements, whether they can be 
affected by management activities or not, must 
be accounted for when designing management 
strategies that will have a high likelihood of 
achieving desired outcomes. 

The material presented here focuses on those 
geologic, soil, climatologic, and air quality issues 
that are relevant for regional- and subregional- 
level ecosystem management. Much of the 



vsioGim'm 



information forming the basis of this section is 
derived from the Landscape Dynamics (Hann et 
al. 1996) and Aquatics (Lee et aL 1996) chapters 
of the Assessment oJEcosystem Components in 
the Interior Columbia Basin and Portions of the 
Klamath and Great Basins (AEC; Quigley and 
Arbelbide 1996b), reports of the Eostside Forest 
EcosystemHealthAssessment[Everett [ed.] 1994), 
and additional sources as cited. Consult these 
reports for more detailed information. 



Geology and 
Physiography 



The present geology and physiography of the 
project area is the culmination of millions of 
years of geologic, climatologic, and ecologic 
processes. This legacy has provided the 
template for current ecologic conditions and has 
shaped and directed human uses of the varied 
terrains and resources within the project area. 

Geologic Processes, Functions, 
and Patterns 

At the regional scale (project area) and 
subregional scale (Ecological Reporting Units), 
geology, physiography, and topography are 
controlled by the past 1.5 billion years of plate 
tectonics, volcanoes, glaciers, and the resultant 
weathering, erosion, and sedimentation 
processes. Topography in the project area is 
shown on Map 2-2. It is the history and 
interaction of these processes that have resulted 
in present locations of mountain ranges, large 
river courses, watershed divides, and rock types 
exposed at the surface. These geologic and 
physiographic attributes exert considerable 
influence over climate, hydrology, and drainage 
pattern development. At the local scale (6th-field 
Hydrologic Unit Code or smaller; see Table 2-3), 
primarily processes during the Pleistocene ice 
ages (the last 1.6 million years) have influenced 
surface topography and soils. At the finest scale 
of channels and hillslopes, physiography is 
controlled primarily by recent (the last 10,000 
years) and present geomorphic processes and 
disturbances, such as floods, landslides, and 
volcanoes. The diversity of geologic 
environments, along with active tectonic, 
volcanic, and glacial processes, has been a 
controlling influence on the evolution and 
distribution of ecologic systems, including 
patterns of human development and use. 



The physiographic environment also dictates 
ecologic potential and management options. For 
example, glaciated terrain commonly has steep 
slopes covered with soil and glacial sediments 
susceptible to erosion; areas near volcanoes 
such as the former Mt. Mazama (Crater Lake) 
and Glacier Peak, commonly have thick, ash-rich 
soils that are highly productive, but susceptible 
to compaction. 

Erosion, sediment transport, and deposition are 
the geologic processes most relevant in day-to- 
day management of ecosystems in the project 
area. Moreover, the rates at which erosion, 
sediment transport, and deposition are now 
increasing have been significantly affected by 
human activities. Detailed discussion of these 
processes are in the Aquatic Ecosystems section, 
because they are better viewed in the context of 
overall watershed processes. 

Geology of Ecological 
Reporting Units 

Geology of the entire project area is summarized 
in the Landscape Dynamics (Hann et al . 1996) 
chapter of the AEC, so only brief descriptions are 
provided here by Ecological Reporting Unit 
(ERU). The geologic time scale in Figure 2-2 lists 
the geologic time periods used in the following 
descriptions, as well as some of the geologic 
processes that were occurring during those periods. 

Northern Cascades (ERU 1) 

The northern part of the Cascade Range is 
dominated by a spine of young, glaciated 
volcanoes. Volcanic rocks overlie metamorphic 
and igneous rocks north of Snoqualmie Pass in 
central Washington. The Northern Cascades ERU 
was extensively glaciated during the Pleistocene 
age by mountain and valley glaciers, and north of 
Lake Chelan by the Cordilleran ice sheet that 
invaded south from Canada, resulting in steep 
alpine valleys and ridges rising above large river 
valleys. Soils in the Northern Cascades contain 
large amounts of ash from eruptions of Glacier 
Peak approximately 1 1 ,000 years ago. 

Southern Cascades and Upper 
Klamath (ERUs 2 and 3) 

Broad-scale geologic/physiographic features 
include the chain of High Cascade volcanoes that 
taper eastward to volcanic and sedimentary 
plateaus. During the Pleistocene age, extensive 




Map 2-5. 
Topography 



50 100 150 1^ 



150 nu'es 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



I 1 - moo feet '^-^ 4000 - SOOO feet ^^^ Major Rivers 

I 1 1000 - 2000 feel ^='1 5000 - 6000 feel '<*V- Major Roads 

C:^^ 2000 - 3000 feet ' -J >6000 feet >^^ US Area Border 

I— -3 3000 - 4000 feet l~-^^i Water . 



Absolute Age 
'millions of years) 



Era 



Period 



E^poch 



Life Forms 



Major Eh>ents 



1.6 



Quaternary 



Recent or 
Holocene 



Pleistocene 



Cenozoic 



66.4 




Tertiary 



245 



Mesozoic 





Spread of modern humans 
Extinction of many large mammals 
and birds 
Homo Erectus 
Large carnivores 
Earliest hominid fossils 
(3.4 - 3.8 million years ago) 

Whales and apes 

Large browsing mammals; monkey-like 
primates; flowering plants begin 
Primitive horse and camel; giant birds; 
formation of grasslands 
Early primates 

Extinction of dinosaurs and many other 
species (65 million years ago) 



Eruption of volcanoes in tlie Cascades 
Worldwide glaciation 
Fluctuating cold to mild in the 'Ice Age" 
Uplift of the Sierra Nevada 
Linking of North and South America 
Beginning of the Cascade volcanic arc 
Beginning of Antarctic ice caps 
Volcanic activity in Yellowstone region 
and Rockies 




^"7ki 



Placental mammals appear 

(90 million years ago) 
Early flowering plants 
Flying reptiles 
Early birds and mammals 
First dinosaurs 



Formation of Rocky Mountains 
Opening of Atlantic Ocean 




I I 






570 



Paleozoic 



Variety of insects 

First amphibians 

First reptiles 

First forests (evergreens' 

Early land plants 

Invertebrates dominant 

First primitive fishes 

Multi celled organisms diversify 

Early shelled organisms 




Supercontinent Pangaea intact 
Culmination of mountain building in 

eastern N. America (Appalachian Mtns) 
Warm conditions, little seasonal variations; 

most of N. America under inland seas 
Beginning of mountain building in 

eastern N. America (rest of N. America 

low and flat) 
Extensive oceans cover most of N. America 



-4600 



Precambrian 



First multi celled organisms 
Early bacteria and algae 
Origin of life? 




Formation of early supercontinent 

(-1.5 billion years ago) 
Primitive atmosphere begins to form 

(accumulation of free oxygen) 
Earth begins to cool 
Oldest known rocks on Earth 

(-3.96 billion years ago) 
Oldest moon rocks (-4 billion years ago) 
(-4 to -4.6 billion years ago) 
Earth's crust being formed 



Formation 



2L 



the Earth 



Figure 2-2. Geologic Time Scale 



. UuW*!^ *!',<-#>' 't 



' <v(*«\('<fl!J'xiS:4#v^<i'ji«'/'i.*-T£ i^<-^-i^^ 



valley glaciers advanced from ice caps that formed 
on higher terrains, carving glacial valleys and 
locally depositing glacial sediment. Parts of the 
Southern Cascades and Upper Klamath ERUs have 
a thick cover of pumice and ash from the eruption 
of Mt. Mazama 7,000 years ago. The Crater Lake 
area is the present remnant of Mt. Mazama. 

Northern Great Basin (ERU4) 

The topography and geology of the northern Great 
Basin is dominated by north- to south-oriented 
block-faulted ranges of Tertiary age volcanic and 
intrusive igneous rocks, separated by alluvial 
deposits, playas (shallow lakes) , and marshes. 
Recent and continued uplift of these mountain 
ranges has resulted in the present complex of 
wetlands and closed basins filled with alluvium 
(river) and lacustrine (lake) sediment. These 
basins presently contain Lake Abert, the Warner 
Lakes, Harney-Malheur Lakes, and Alvord Lake. 
During the Pleistocene age, many of these now- 
isolated, ephemeral lake bodies were connected 
into larger freshwater lake systems. 

Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) 

Thick sequences of Tertiary age basalt flows are 
locally covered by late-Tertiaiy and Quaternary 
sediment. During the ice ages of the Pleistocene, 
the region was covered with windblown sediment, 
known as loess. Loess makes up the Palouse 
Hills and covers most of the upland surfaces. 
Rivers swollen with glacial meltwater and large 
Pleistocene floods inundated much of the 
Columbia Plateau, cutting into the basalt 
surfaces and forming the cliff-bounded valleys 
that contain the Columbia, lower Snake, and 
Deschutes rivers. 

Blue Mountains (ERU 6) 

The Blue Mountains are composed of a diverse 

suite of uplifted rocks, including Paleozoic, 
Mesozoic, and Tertiary age sedimentary and 
igneous rock types. Higher mountains, such as 
the Seven Devils, Wallowa, and Elkhom mountain 
ranges, were shaped by alpine glaciers during the 
Pleistocene age. 

Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) 

The mountains across the northern part of the 
project area are underlain by a complex 
assemblage of Precambrian to Tertiary age 
metamorphic, igneous, and sedimentary rocks. 
These rocks have been folded and faulted, 



resulting in broad, northwest trending ranges, 
commonly separated by wide down warps such as 
the Okanogan and Spokane valleys. The 
Northern Glaciated Mountains ERU was 
extensively glaciated during the Pleistocene, 
resulting in unconsolidated glacial till covering 
many hillslopes, and thick fills and terraces of 
glacial outwash in the river valleys. During the 
Pleistocene, Lake Missoula was glacially dammed 
and inundated the valleys in the area to an 
elevation of 4,600 feet. This resulted in 
accumulations of fine-grained and 
unconsolidated lacustrine (lake) sediment in 
many valley bottoms. 

Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10) 

The Owyhee Uplands ERU is composed of two 
distinct physiographic provinces- the western 
Snake River Plain and the Owyhee Uplands. The 
western Snake River Plain is a structural 
depression that has been filled with horizontal 
sheets of Tertiary age basaltic lava flows that are 
interbedded with fluvial and lacustrine sediment. 
Aside from the canyon of the Snake River, there is 
little relief on the surface except for small shield 
volcanoes, volcanic buttes, and lava flows. The 
surface is covered with loess, and alluvial sand and 
gravel from surrounding mountains. Southwest of 
the Snake River, the Owyhee Uplaxids is a partly 
dissected and folded plateau, underlain by Tertiary 
volcanic rocks, and covered with alluvial silt, sand, 
and gravel. 



Soils and Soil Productimty 

Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦ Soil productivity across the project area is 
generally stable to declining. Determination 
of the exact status of soil condition for any 
given area is difficult because of a lack of 
inventory and monitoring data. Generally, 
greater declines in soil quality and 
productivity are associated with greater 
intensities of vegetation management, 
reading, and livestock grazing. 

♦ Soil organic matter and coarse wood (woody 
material larger than three inches) have been 
lost or have decreased as a result of 
displacement and removal of soils, and 
removal of whole trees and branches. 






♦There has been a loss of soil material from 
direct displacement of soils, as well as from 
surface and mass erosion. Erosion can 
result from changed water runoff patterns 
from increased bare soil exposure, 
compaction, and concentration of water 
from roads. 

♦ Changes in the physical properties of soils 
have occurred in conjunction with activities 
that increase bulk density through 
compaction. These changes have largely 
resulted in impaired soil processes and 
function, such as decreased porosity and 
infiltration, and increased surface erosion. 

♦ In rangeland soils, the function and 
development of microbiotic crusts have 
been reduced in areas where surface- 
disturbing activities have been high. 
Microbiotic crusts provide soil stability and 
retention, and are essential for nutrient 
availability and cycling. 

♦ Sustainability of soil ecosystem function and 
process is at risk in areas where 
redistribution of nutrients in terrestrial 
ecosystems has resulted from changes in 
vegetation composition and pattern, removal of 
the larger sized wood component, and risk of 
uncharacteristic fire. 

♦ Floodplain and riparian area soils have a 
reduced ability to store and regulate 
chemicals and water in areas where riparian 
vegetation has been reduced or removed, or 
whei'e soil loss associated with roading in 
riparian areas has occurred. In these areas, 
water quantity may be reduced during low 
flows, and water quality may have less buffer 
from pollution. 



Soils are an ecologically rich and active zone at the 
interface between geologic materials and the 
atmosphere. Most soils in the planning area are 
young and thin, and critical soil processes, such as 
nutrient cycling, infiltration and percolation occur 
in the upper few inches or feet. Soil-forming and 
soil-recovery processes are slow; therefore, 
disruption of soils can lead to long-term changes in 
ecologic conditions, including biologic and 
hydrologic processes. Much of the following 
material is summarized from the Landscape 
DL/namics(Hannetal. 1996) chapter of theAEC, 
Harvey etal. (1994), andHenjumetal. (1994). 



Soil Processes, FunctionSf 
and Patterns 

Geology and geologic processes, topography, 
climate, plants, animals, and organisms all 
interact over time to form soils. Soils are critical 
regulators of biologic productivity, hydrologic 
response, and site stability. Vegetation anchors 
soils and contains mineral nutrients and water 
required for plant growth. Soils also contain a 
vast variety of microorganisms that promote 
decomposition of organic material, such as 
leaves, twigs, and large wood. This decomposition 
process is a critical link in the nutrient cycling 
process, especially for critical plant nutrients 
such as carbon, nitrogen, potassium, 
phosphorous, and sulfur (see Figures 2-3 and 2-4) . 
The diverse geology and climate of the planning 
area, in conjunction with natural and human 
disturbance, has resulted in a spatially complex 
pattern of soils that differ in appearance, 
function, and response to management activities. 

Most soils in the planning area have formed since 
the last ice age, and are composed of several 
horizons, or layers. At the surface, there is 
commonly a thin (generally less than two inches) , 
and sometimes discontinuous cover of decaying 
organic matter, such as leaves and twigs. Under 
this cover of litter and duff is a layer (less than a 
few inches) of dark, highly decomposed organic 
matter (humus) which covers a mineral layer of 
up to several feet thick. This mineral layer may 
contain organic matter, clay minerals, calcium 
carbonate, and other salts that are transported 
down the soil column by percolation or 
burrowing activities. In general, forested 
environments have more continuous and thicker 
layers of organic matter than rangeland 
environments, but the thickness and amount of 
organic material varies considerably depending 
on local vegetation characteristics, climate, 
relief, and disturbance history (including human 
uses and fire). These soil horizons together 
cover weathered and unweathered parent 
materials, such as bedrock or old stream gravel. 
Volcanic material is a major component of many 
soils in the area. 

Physical properties of soils, such as bulk density 
(dry weight per unit volume), porosity, texture, 
hydrologic conductivity, soil depth, and mineral 
content, are all factors controlling hydrologic 
response, water- holding capacity, and surface 
stability. Soil water-holding capacity is a critical 
factor in the planning area where growing season 










Figure 2-3. Nitrogen Cycle ~ Nitrogen is essential for life. Roughly 80 percent of the earth's 
atmosphere is made up of gaseous nitrogen, which is a form that can be used by afew bacte- 
ria, but cannot be used by animals. Anim.als, however, need nitrogen, because nitrogen is the 
building block for amino acids and proteins in their bodies. The process of converting the 
gaseous nitrogen to amino acids and proteins, in plant and animal bodies, and back to 
gaseous nitrogen, is called the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle depends upon microorgan- 
isms, such as blue-green algae and various kinds of soil bacteria, to (1) "fix" the gaseous 
nitrogen in the atmosphere, and convert it to organic nitrogen compounds, like amino acids, 
(2) convert the organic nitrogen to inorganic nitrogen: for example, ammonium, nitrites, and 
nitrates, of which nitrates is a form, that can be taken up by plants, and (3) convert the 
inorganic nitrogen back to gaseous nitrogen. Without these m.icroorganisms, and the soil in 
which they live, we would not be able to survive. 



Humans 




Figure 2-4. Carbon Cycle ~ Carbon is one of the main elements that forms the tissue of 
organisms and as such, is required for life. Energy flow (see Figure 2-1 0) through the 
earth's ecosystems is interrelated with the flow of carbon through ecosystems, because 
carbon is such an integral element of plant and animal tissue. Whereas roughly 80 
percent of the earth's atmosphere is composed of gaseous nitrogen (see Figure 2-3), only 
roughly .04 percent of the earth's atm.osphere is com.posed of carbon dioxide. This 
carbon dioxide is critical for life on earth because plants extract it from the atm.osphere 
by photosynthesis and incorporate it into formation of plant tissue. Carbon dioxide is 
returned back to the atmosphere through (1) respiration by plants and animals, and (2) 
bacteria and fungi which decompose dead plant and animal bodies and convert the 
carbon in the bodies to carbon dioxide. 



w^,»rt«fi»'^'<,* .M'■^^^W^V;'-!BV 



precipitation is low. Soils with high organic 
matter contents generally have high porosities 
and high water-storage capacities. Soils with 
high volcanic pumice and ash contents generally 
also have high porosities and high water-storage 
capacity, but are susceptible to compaction. 

The physical properties of soils can be 
significantly altered by disturbances such as 
erosion and compaction. Soil compaction results 
from concentrated activity, including use of 
heavy equipment, vehicles, pedestrian activity, 
and improper livestock grazing. Where soils are 
compacted, porosity, permeability, and 
hydrologic conductivity are reduced, resulting in 
altered runoff patterns and increased surface 
erosion. Natural recovery of surface compaction 
can take 50 to 200 years, depending on the soil 
type, degree of compaction, frequency of freeze- 
thaw cycles, and input of organic matter. 

Soil biological properties also affect productivity. 
Soil is a reservoir of fungal spores and other 
organisms important for decomposition and 
nutrient cycling. These organisms and their 
interactions affect forest site productivity through 
assimilation of nutrients, protection against 
pathogens, maintenance of soU structure, and 
buffering against moisture stress (Amaranthus and 
Trappe 1993). Erosion or removal of soil surface 
layers, where most microorganisms reside and 
where most of the critical nutrient cycling 
processes occur, can significantly affect 
productivity for several decades. 

Organic matter, both above and below ground, is 
an important component for maintaining soil 
productivity. In general, the higher the total soil 
organic matter, the higher the site productivity. 
Throughout most of the planning area, 
decomposition of organic matter is often slow, 
leading to accumulations of surface organic 
matter. This accumulated litter and woody 
debris is potential fuel for wildfire, an important 
factor controlling soil conditions in forestlands 
and rangelands of the planning area, especially in 
drier environments where fire frequency is high 
(Harvey etal. 1994). The combined processes of 
biological decomposition and fire regulate 
nutrient availability and cycling. 

Fire can substantially change surface soil 
characteristics and erosion rates, and can 
influence patterns of vegetation on the 
landscape. Fire can have consequences on soil 
productivity by consuming organic matter and 



vegetation. Nutrients, such as nitrogen, can be 
evaporated by fire, resulting in an immediate 
loss of soil productivity as well as limiting future 
inputs of nutrients. However, nutrients are also 
made available by fire, especially by converting 
large woody debris into smaller, more readily 
decomposed material (DeBano 1990). Forests in 
the inland west are dependent on a combination 
of biological and fire decomposition processes to 
regulate nutrient availability and cycling (Harvey 
etal. 1994). 

Fire can also affect soil productivity by creating 
bare soil or hydrophobic (water-repelling) 
conditions that alter infiltration, runoff, and 
erosion processes. In general, the more soil 
heating that occurs, the greater the potential for 
water repellency. Dry, coarse textured soils are 
most susceptible to hydrophobicity, especially 
after high intensity fires. 

Current Conditions 

Overall, soil conditions in the planning area are 
stable or declining, depending on past levels of 
management activity. Soil conditions are 
generally stable in wildernesses, but are 
decreasing in intensively managed areas. In 
general, decreases in soil productivity are 
associated with soil erosion and removal, loss of 
soil organic matter, changes in vegetation 
composition, removal of whole trees and 
branches, and increased bulk density from 
soil compaction. 

Human-caused changes in fire frequency have 
also affected soil organic matter. Where humans 
have effectively put out wildfires for the last 
several decades, the present content of the soil 
organic matter is typically higher than it was 
historically, resulting in greater productivity. 
More above-ground vegetation, however, now 
renders many of these sites at risk to more 
intense fires, which can lead to long-term 
reduction in soil organic matter and soil fertility 
because of excessive evaporation of important 
nutrients such as nitrogen and potassium 
(Harvey etal. 1994). 

Soils of Ecological 
Reporting Units 

General soil characteristics for the planning area 
are summarized from Bailey et al. (1984) and the 
General Soils Map of Oregon (USDA 1 964) . 






Northern Cascades and Southern 
Cascades (ERUs 1 and 2) 

Soils east of the Cascade Range are generally cold 
and stony. They are influenced by volcanic ash, 
and some have low bulk density, high organic- 
matter content, and high clay content. Soils in 
these ERUs are usually dry for a significant time 
during the summer. Soils in the Northern 
Cascades ERU have been significantly influenced 
by volcanic ash from Glacier Peak and other 
Washington Cascade Range volcanoes. Soils in 
the Southern Cascades ERU commonly have thick 
accumulations of pumice and ash from the 
eruption of Mt. Mazama. 

Upper Klamath (ERUS) 

Soils in the upper Klamath Basin generally 
consist of cold, dry soils on pumice-covered 
plateaus, with organic-matter-rich surface layers. 
Soils in basins and valley floors are wet, and cool 
or cold. Soils on floodplains and terraces, and in 
grass-shrubland environments are generally 
warm and dry. commonly with dark-colored 
surface layers and high organic-matter contents. 
Soils in grass-shrubland environments are 
generally shallow with high organic-matter 
contents in surface layers and subsurface clay 
accumulations. 

Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) 

Northern Great Basin soils are typically cool-to- 
warm and dry, and have low organic-matter 
contents. Soil horizons are commonly the result 
of movement and accumulation of salts, 
carbonates, and silicate clays, locally resultingin 
caliche layers (hardpan). Large areas of low 
precipitation have saline-sodic soils. 

Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) 

Soils in the Columbia Basin and Palouse area have 
primarily formed with thick accumulations of silt 
and sand (loess) deposited by ice-age winds. 
Generally these soils are warm and dry, with thin, 
dark organic horizons (layers) over clay and 
carbonate-enriched lower horizons. 

Blue Mountains (ERU 6) 

Most soils in the Blue Mountains are influenced 
by volcanic ash from Mount Mazama. The ash 
layer is relatively undisturbed on gentle and 
forested north slopes. On south-facing slopes. 



the ash has been mostly removed by erosion, and 
redeposited and mixed with loess and alluvium 
in valley bottoms and lake basins. At high 
altitudes, soils are generally cold and moist, 
dark-colored, and have high organic-matter 
contents. At lower altitudes, soils are generally 
cool and moist, with thick ash layers and high 
clay contents. On the lowest mountain slopes 
and valley floors, soils are dry for parts or most 
of the summer. 

Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) 

Soil conditions range from cold and stony soils in 
the higher mountains to warm and dry soils 
within the major valleys. Further east, away from 
the Cascade Range, the volcanic ash content is 
less and soils are generally less productive. 
Steep slopes covered with glacial deposits are 
susceptible to erosion. 

Owyhee Uplands (ERU 1 0) 

Soils in the Owyhee Uplands ERU are generally 
warm and dry, with moisture being a significant 
limiting factor to plant growth. In wetter riparian 
and wetland areas, organic matter content is 
higher and soil productivity is greater. Some areas 
of low precipitation have saline or sodic soils. 



Climate 

The varied topography and geographic position of 
the planning area, relative to global ocean and 
atmospheric circulation patterns, result in very 
different climates throughout. The climate, in 
turn, strongly influences ecologic processes such 
as biologic productivity, fire regime, soils, 
streamflow, erosion, and human uses of the land 
and resources. 

Precipitation and Temperature 

Most precipitation in the planning area falls in the 
winter when eastward moving storms enter the 
area. Typically, more than 80 percent of the 
annual precipitation falls from October to May. 
Expansion of the North Pacific high pressure 
system in the early summer effectively blocks the 
flow of moisture into the Pacific Northwest, 
resulting in generally stable, warm, and dry 
summers. The most profound influence on 
precipitation patterns is the Cascade Range, 
which causes a significant rain-shadow effect in 



,Kt,rf£(&iMK«* /^ 



eastern Oregon and Washington. The Cascade 
Range separates eastern Oregon and Washington 
from the maritime climate west of it, leaving the 
interior Columbia River Basin with a continental 
climate of cold winters and warm, dry summers. 
The Columbia River Gorge, which has a climate 
uniquely influenced by interaction of air masses 
between the east and west sides of the Cascade 
Range, is home to unique assemblages of plant 
and animal fauna. 

Average annual precipitation ranges from more 
than 100 inches per year at the crest of the 
Cascade Range to less than 8 inches per year in 
the low-elevation basins and plains (see Map 2-3) . 
Substantial portions of the planning area, 
especially in the rangelands, receive less than 12 
inches of precipitation per year. In these areas, 
recovery of vegetation and soil from human and 
natural disturbance takes place much more 
slowly than in areas with greater rainfall. The 
greatest amount of precipitation is in the 
mountain ranges, notably the Cascade Range and 
the Blue Mountains. Most precipitation falls 
during winter and accumulates as snow, with 
mean annual snowfall of 100 to 200 inches along 
the crest of the Cascade Range and in the Blue 
Mountains. Spring, summer, and fall storms 
provide growing season rainfall in the mountains. 

The planning area experiences a wide range of 
temperature variation. High mountainous areas 
have cold winters and short, cool summers with 
growing seasons that are locally less than 30 days 
in the highest alpine areas. Intermontane valleys 
and plateaus have cool to cold winters and hot 
summers, resulting in growing seasons that 
exceed 150 to 200 days in parts of the Columbia 
Plateau (ERU 5). 

Drought 

Drought and climate change are important 

processes that affect ecosystems. Drought is 
defined as an absence of usual precipitation (less 
than 80 percent of normal) for a long enough 
period that there is decreased soil moisture and 
stream flow, thereby affecting ecologic processes 
and human activities. All regions experience 
temporary, irregularly-recurring drought 
conditions, but dry climates are generally 
affected most (Barry and Chorley 1982). Year-to- 
year climate variability generally increases with 
aridity. In areas with average annual 
precipitation of less than 12 inches, drought 
years occur 20 to 40 percent of the time. 



Drought affects fire and rangeland management. 
Dryyears, such as 1988 and 1994, commonly 
result in widespread wildfire in forested 
environments, especially if there have been 
several preceding dry years. In the past, 
wildfires have required considerable resources 
to control, and have led to significant ecologic 
consequences. Drought significantly reduces 
forage production on rangelands, which can lead 
to degradation of upland and riparian areas if 
livestock grazing is not properly managed 
(Vallentine 1 990) . Drought can also increase the 
susceptibility of forestlands to insect infestation. 
The regional drought of 1920 to 1940 in the 
Pacific Northwest created substantial insect 
infestation problems, particularly for pine 
species (Agee 1994). 

Climate Change 

Climate change has been prevalent throughout 
history in the planning area, resulting in 
continuing adjustments by aquatic (water) and 
terrestrial (land) ecosystems. Changes in 
temperature and precipitation have direct 
effects, such as on efficiency of photosynthesis 
and length of growing season, and also indirect 
effects, such as changes in fire and flood 
frequency. Past climate changes have ranged 
from global-scale changes, such as the transition 
between glacial and interglacial periods 
approximately 10,000 years ago, which resulted 
in about a 1 0° Fahrenheit increase in mean 
annual temperature; to smaller, yet still 
significant, changes, such as the period of 
generally cooler temperatures that began 
approximately 4,000 years ago and culminated in 
the Little Ice Age of the 1700s and early 1800s. 
Over the last several decades in the Pacific 
Northwest and globally, there has been significant 
warming (1 to 3° Fahrenheit) that some scientists 
have attributed to increased carbon dioxide 
emissions and the "greenhouse effect." 

Vegetation is especially sensitive to climate 
change. Upper and lower forest boundaries in 
the planning area have moved up and down in 
elevation by hundreds of feet during the last 
several centuries in response to temperature 
changes of 1 to 3° Fahrenheit (Mehringer 1995, 
Neitzeletal. 1991). In general, plants on the 
fringes of their distributions respond most 
sensitively and rapidly to climate chaaige. Within 
eastern Oregon and Washington, such changes are 
expected to continue to greatly influence the area 
and extent of vegetation types, especially changes 










Map 2-3, 
Annual Precipitation 



50 100 150 ' 



150 miles 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



- 10 inches -'""^ Major Rivers 

10 - 12 inches ^s^ Major Roads 

12 - 24 inches ^^ US Area Border 
> 24 inches 






in altitude of the overlapping conifer and steppe 
communities (Mehringer 1995). Vegetation 
responds to climate change in different directions 
and at different rates, reassembling in new and 
sometimes unpredictable associations that are 
constantly changing (Graham and Grimm 1990). 



Air Quality 



Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦ The current condition of air quality in the 
project area is considered good, relative to 
other areas of the country. 

♦ Wildfires significantly affect the air 
resource. Current wildfires produce higher 
levels of smoke emissions than historically, 
because fuel available to be consumed by 
wildfire has increased. 

♦ Within the project area, the current trend in 
prescribed fire use is expected to result in 
an increase of smoke emissions. 



Presettlem.ent Conditions 

Air quality in the project area was not pristine 
before it was settled by Europeans in the 1800s. 
Layers of charcoal found in the Sheep Mountain 
bog near Missoula, Montana and the Williams 
Lake Fen north of Cheney, Washington provide 
evidence of wildland fire at varying intervals from 
1 , 000 years ago to the present (Johnson et al . 
1984). Fires from as long as 4,000 years ago are 
evident from charcoal found at Blue Lake, near 
Lewiston, Idaho. Several sites show significantly 
increased levels of charcoal starting 
approximately 1 ,000 years before present, 
attributed to burning by American Indians. 

Many historical accounts refer to the presence of 
smoke and burned areas in the interior Columbia 
Basin, the Harney Basin, near the mouth of the 
Umatilla River, on the western slope of the Blue 
Mountains, and along the section of the Oregon 
Trail from the juncture of the Boise and Snake 
Rivers to the Columbia River (Robbins and Wolf 
1 994) . Some accounts merely noted the presence 
of burned areas, while others attributed fire to 



burning by American Indians (ibid.). Levels of 
smoke have declined as fire was excluded from 
forests, particularly after the advent of organized 
fire suppression in the 1930s. Brown and 
Bradshaw(1994) concluded that levels of smoke 
in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana were 1 .3 times 
greater prior to settlement in the 1 800s than they 
have been recently. 

Fire return intervals for the Pacific Northwest 
have been documented in many publications; one 
of the most recent that gives an in-depth history 
is Agee (1993). Agee clearly demonstrates the 
role fire has played as a disturbance agent in the 
development of Pacific Northwest ecosystems. 
Over the past few centuries the average area 
burned per year for Oregon is 795,662 acres and 
in Washington 326, 172 acres (Agee 1993). 



Overview of the Cleai 



The Clean Air Act, passed in 1955 by the 
Congress and amended several times, is the 
primary legal instrument for air resource 
management. The Clean Air Act required the 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to, among 
other things, identify and publish a list of 
common air pollutants that could endanger 
public health or welfare. These commonly 
encountered pollutants, referred to as "criteria 
pollutants," are listed by the EPA along with the 
results of studies documenting the health effects 
of various concentrations of each pollutant. For 
each criteria pollutant, the EPAhas designated a 
concentration level above which the pollutant would 
endanger public health or welfare. These levels 
are called the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standards (NAAQSs). 

To date, NAAQSs have been established for six 
criteria pollutants: sulfur dioxide (SO^), 
particulate matter (PM j J , carbon monoxide (CO) , 
ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides (NoJ, and lead (Pb). 
There are exceptions, but generally these 
standards are not to be violated anywhere that 
the public has free access to within the United 
States. If NAAQSs are violated in an area, the 
area is designated as a "non-attainment area," 
and the state is required to develop an 
implementation plan to bring it back into 
compliance with these standards. Non-attainment 
areas for PMj^ are shown on Map 2-4. To help 
protect air quality. Section 118 of the Clean Air 
Act requires federal agencies to comply with all 
federal, state, and local air pollution requirements. 




Map 2^. 

Air Quality 

Class I Airsheds and 

PMIO Non-attainment Areas 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



Class One Airsheds ^'^ Major Rivers 

PMW Non-Attainment ■^'^ Major Roads 

Areas (Counties) ^^, 

'^' £/i Area Border 

PMIO Non-Attainment 

Areas (Municipalities) 



Pollutants such as oxides of nitrogen, sulfur, and 
ozone are a concern to federal land managers 
because of their potential to cause adverse 
effects on plant life, water quality, and visibility. 
However, the sources of these pollutants are 
generally associated with urbanization and 
industrialization, rather than with natural 
resource management activities. Therefore, 
these pollutants will not be considered in this 
EIS. On the other hand, particulates, carbon 
monoxide, and ozone are criteria pollutants that 
can be created by fire (wildfire and prescribed 
fire); these pollutants are discussed here. The 
pollutant of greatest concern for management 
activities in the planning area is particulate matter. 

Three elements in the Clean Air Act generally 
apply to management activities that produce 
emissions in the planning area: (1) Protection of 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (Section 
109), (2) conformity with State Implementation 
Plans (Section 176(c)), and (3) protection of 
visibility in Class 1 areas (Section 1 69a) . 

Protection of National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards 

Particulate matter produced by land management 
activities or natural events on federally- 
administered lands originates from wildfire, 
prescribed burning, road or wind-blown dust, 
volcanic eruptions, and vehicle use. However, 
most particulate matter of concern is produced 
from fire, and most of this is less than 10 microns 
(one millionth of a meter in diameter, PMj„) 

Because fire and smoke are a natural part of 
forestland and rangeland ecosystems, PMjg produced 
from fire does not significantly affect these 
ecosystems. However, they do have effects on 
humanhealth. Particulates PM,o can be drawn 
deep into the lungs, the part of the respiratory 
system most sensitive to chemical injury (Morgan 
1 989 inSandberg and Dost 1990). Numerous 
studies have been conducted on human health 
implications of small particulates. It is known that 
individuals with respiratory disease are at serious 
risk when exposed to even low concentrations of 
particulates. The lung function of healthy children 
without respiratory disease is lowered when they 
live in areas with high particulate concentrations, 
as compared tocMdren who live in areas with lower 
concentrations. Wood smoke also contains 
cai-cinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds, so 
chronic exposures to concentrations of wood smoke 
have effects similar to long-tenn cigarette smoking. 



Ozone is a photochemical pollutant formed on 
warm sunny days from nitrogen dioxide and 
hydrocarbon emissions. The chemistry of ozone 
formation is poorly understood; however, it is 
known from measurements that ozone is present 
in the smoke plume downwind of large fires. It is 
also known, but very difficult to quantify, that 
organic emissions from vegetation are also ozone 
scavengers, so forested areas are both sources 
and sinks of ozone. The occurrence of fires is 
generally dispersed geographically and 
temporally (over time); therefore, ozone 
exposures resulting from fire are infrequent, even 
if plumes of smoke do not rise. Smoke plumes 
that do not rise are generally from low intensity 
fires with much lower emissions of ozone. 

Although ozone is produced as a byproduct of 
wildland fire, because of fire frequency and 
smoke plume elevation, it is generally not a 
significant problen:i for human health or 
vegetation resources. It is also significant to note 
that fire is a natural event within forestland and 
rangeland areas. Therefore, to some extent, 
ozone produced by fire is also a natural event, 
and ecosystems have some natural adaptation to 
its effects. 

Carbon monoxide is primarily generated by 
incomplete combustion of carbon. There have 
been few, if any, measured effects to the 
ecosystem from carbon monoxide. It is generated 
during wildland burning, but is rapidly diluted at 
short distances from a fire and, therefore, poses 
little or no risk to community health (Sandberg 
and Dost 1990). However, it can be a concern to 
firefighters on the fire line depending on 
concenti'ation, duration, and level of activity. 
Carbon monoxide can cause headaches, fatigue, 
decreased concentration, impaired judgement 
and in high concentrations, death. Long-term 
exposure may also contribute to arteriosclerosis 
(hardening of the arteries), and increased risk of 
cardiovascular disease (Forest Service and John 
Hopkins University 1989). 

Many other non-criteria, but potentially toxic, 
pollutants are emitted by wildland fire, including 
poljTiuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (sometimes 
referred to as PAHs) and aldehydes. Effects on 
human health vary by levels of exposure to these 
pollutants emitted during combustion. Some 
polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are known to 
be potential carcinogens; other components, such 
as aldehydes, are acute irritants. Many of these 
air toxins dissipate or bind with other chemicals 
soon after release, making it difficult to estimate 






. .-.«.u»<it«*ifi8«sjwa 



human exposure and consequential health effects. 
Additionally, the health and welfare effects of air 
toxics released by prescribed burning or wildfires 
have not been directly studied. 

Conformity with State 
Implementation Plans 

The Clean Air Act requires each state to develop, 
adopt, and implement a State Implementation 
Plan to ensure that the National Ambient Air 
Quality Standards (NAAQSs) are attained and 
maintained for the criteria pollutants. These 
plans must contain schedules for developing and 
implementing air quality programs and regulations. 
State Implementation Plans also contain 
additional regulations for non-attainment areas. 

The general conformity provisions of the Clean 
Air Act (Section 176(c)), prohibit federal agencies 
from taking any action within a non-attainment 
area (emphasis added) that causes or 
contributes to a new violation of the National 
Ambient Air Quality Standards, increases the 
frequency or severity of an existing violation, or 
delays the timely attainment of a standard. As 
stated earlier. Section 118 specifically states that 
federal agencies must ensure that their actions 
confoiTn to applicable State Implementation Plans. 

The Environmental Protection Agency developed 
criteria and procedures for demonstrating and 
ensuring confonnity of federal actions to State 
Implementation Plans. The EPA finalized these 
regulations in the Federal Register on November 
30, 1993 (58 FR 632 14). However, as written, 
they only apply to federal actions that occur 
within non-attainment areas, and, as of the 
printing of this EIS, no National Forests or BLM 
Districts in the planning area lie within non- 
attainment areas. Therefore, requirements of the 
conformity regulations do not apply to 
management actions proposed in this EIS; 
however, federal actions must still comply with 
State Implementation Plans. 

Protection of Visibility in 
Class I Areas 

The Congress, through the Clean Air Act, declared 
as a national goal "the prevention of any future, and 
the remedying of any existing, impairment of 
visibility in mandatory Class I federal areas which 
impairment results from manmade air pollution" 
(Section 1 69A) . Class I areas include wildernesses 
5,000 acres or larger and National Parks 6,000 



acres or larger which were in existence prior to 
1977 (Section 162(a)). Map 2-4 shows the federal 
Class I areas in the project area. 

Class I areas are subject to the most limiting 
restrictions regarding how much additional 
pollution can be added to the air. To assure 
protection of visibility in Class I areas, the states 
of Oregon and Washington have adopted visibility 
protection plans as part of their State 
Implementation Plans, which dictate when and 
how much burning can take place. 

Fine particulate matter, generally less than 2.5 
microns in diameter, is the primary cause of 
visibility impairment. Prescribed burning 
emissions, which stay suspended for many miles, 
are in the 0. 1 to 2.5 micron size class, and can be 
expected to reduce visibility. 

Visibility has been monitored and documented for 
many of the Class I areas in Oregon and 
Washington from 1983 to 1992(Boutcher 1994). A 
review of this study shows that visibility has 
improved in and around Class I wildernesses 
west of the Cascades, and has remained stable 
east of the Cascades (see Table 2-4). This can be 
attributed to a reduction in prescribed burning 
and to Oregon and Washington State 
Implementation Plans. 

Results of a 1990 National Park Service study of 
visibility in National Parks and wildernesses in 
the Washington Cascade Range (Malm et al. 1 994) 
indicated that burning vegetation contributed 
approximately 1 7 percent of the impairment, with 
53 percent from sulfates, 9 percent from nitrates, 
and 20 percent from soil and other causes. 
These parks are on the western edge of the 
planning area, but information on particle 
composition and source regions is relevant 
because these fine particles are transported over 
long distances. It is logical to expect that 
emissions from land management activities would 
cover a larger portion of the planning area 
because of lower industrial and urban emissions, 
when compared to the Puget Sound emissions 
that Impacted the National Park Semce study ai'ea. 

Managing Eniissions From 
Prescribed Fire 

Under the Clean Air Act, state and local 
governments have the authority to adopt their 
own air quality rules and regulations. These 
rules are incorporated into their State 



:'A-i, 



Implementation Plans if they are equal to, or 
more protective than, federal requirements. For 
example, some states have incorporated smoke 
management provisions for prescribed burning 
into their State Implementation Plans. As stated 
earlier, to help protect air quality, the Clean Air 
Act requires federal agencies to comply with all 
federal, state, and local air pollution 
requirements which include state-enacted 
visibility protection and smoke management 
programs. Oregon and Washington have officially 
adopted smoke management programs into their 
State Implementation Plans. 

Tracking Emissions 



estimate fuel consumption, emissions, and smoke 
dispersion from prescribed bums. 

Monitoring Air Quality 

Several different monitoring networks currently 
measure air quality in the planning area. The 
most extensive of these are the State and Local 
Air Monitoring Stations/National Air Monitoring 
Stations. Operated by the states, this monitoring 
network is used to determine whether the 
National Ambient Air Quality Standards are met. 
Monitors in this network are concentrated in 
population centers. 



An emissions information system is used by the 
states of Oregon and Washington to quantify 
prescribed fire emissions and track changes in 
emission productions within their jurisdictions. 
Federal land managers have an obligation to 
complete smoke management reports and apply 
appropriate mitigation measures to reduce 
potential impacts on air quality (EPA 1992). 
Managers use available computer software to 



Federal agencies are also operating monitors at 
five sites within or near the planning area. These 
monitoring sites measure PM,q and PM^ ^ and 
changes in visibility, and have filters that can be 
analyzed to determine the relative contribution of 
different sources of particulate matter. In 
addition to monitoring pollutant concentrations, 
state and federal agencies collect and archive the 
following type of data about prescribed fires: 



Table 2-4. Visibility Comparison. 




Representative 




Standard Viewing Range 




Wilderness 


Monitoring Site 


10th Percentile 


50th Percentile 90th Percentile 








in miles 




Pasayten 


Slate Peak 


50 


114 


221 


Alpine Lakes 


Maloney Mt. 


52 


119 


213 


Goat Rocks 


Burley Mt. 


53 


103 


200 


Mt. Adams 


Red Mountain 


58 


112 


186 


N/A 


Vista House 


43 


81 


181 


Mt. Hood 


Hickman Butte 


39 


89 


174 


N/A 


Badger Creek 


49 


91 


162 


Hells Canyon 


Mt. Howard 


47 


111 


185 


Hells Canyon 


Hells Canyon 


60 


111 


198 


Eagle Cap 


Pt. Prominence 


53 


114 


191 


Strawberry Mt. 


Dixie Butte 


57 


113 


184 


Mt. Jefferson 


Sisi Butte 


49 


101 


181 


Three Sisters 


Black Butte 


60 


104 


172 



The estimates of visibility in this table rely on a "rank-order cumulative frequency (count) method." The 1 0th percentile 
Indicates the visibility range occurring at the representative monitoring site 90% of the time (poor visibility) , the 50th percentile 
50% oftlie time (medium visibility), and the 90tli percentile 10%ofthe time (good visibility). 

Source: Boutcher (1994). 



location, acres burned, moisture content of fuels, 
tons to be consumed, and emissions to be released. 

Air Quality Tradeoffs 
Between Prescribed Fire 
and Wildfire Emissions 

Wildfires currently have a significant impact on 
the air resource, degrading ambient air quality 
and impairing visibility. The wildfire regime is 
significantly different than it was historically 
because of increased fuel loading, development 
of fuel ladders, and increases in stand density. 
Approximately 10 percent of acres burn with 
non-lethal underburns, compared to 
approximately 3 1 percent historically. Stand- 
replacing fires consume much more fuel and 
produce much more smoke than non-lethal fires, 
which usually burn with fairly low surface fire 
intensities in the understory. Brown and 
Bradshaw (1994) found that emissions were 
greater from current fires, even though they 
burned fewer acres in total than historically, 
because consumption of fuel per unit area 
burned has been greater in the current period. 



Prescribed fires are ignited under fuel moisture 
conditions that reduce total fuel consumption 
(see Table 2-5] . Prescribed fires are ignited 
when mixing height and winds are most favorable 
for dispersal of smoke away from populated 
areas, and are not conducted during inversions. 
Summer inversions are a major cause of bad 
ambient air conditions associated with wildfires. 

While Increased levels of prescribed fire can have 
temporary negative impacts on air quality, in the 
long term, acute impacts to air quality from 
wildfires can be reduced (Schaaf 1996). Over the 
last ten years, state air regulators and scientists 
have measured concentrations of PM^q from 
wUdfires in urban areas that were well over the 
NAAQSs, and they found it common for these 
episodes to last several days. For example, the 
1994 wildfires nearWenatchee, Washington 
produced 24-hour concentrations of PM^^ that 
were more than double the federal health standard, 
and these conditions persisted for days. Impacts 
to populated areas from prescribed fire emissions 
can be more frequent, but the level of impact is 
well below established health standards for PMj^ 
(Earth Tech. 1996). 



Table 2-5. 


Smoke Emissions Produced by Wildfires and Prescribed Fires. 








Smoke Emissions PM^^ 


) 


Potential 


Fuel 


Wildfires 


Prescribed Fires 


Prescribed Fires 


Vegetation 


Loading 


Dry Fuels 


Moist Fuels 


Average Fuels 




tons/acre 




lbs/acre 




Cold Forest 


30 


514 


303 


385 


Cool Shrub 


7 


119 


75 


85 


Dry Forest 


27 


464 


267 


345 


Dry Grass 


3 


62 


28 


34 


Dry Shrub 


6 


137 


87 


97 


Moist Forest 


35 


607 


359 


453 


Woodland 


10 


175 


121 


140 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

PM|Q = particulate matter smaller than 10 microns 

Source: Ottmar et al. (1996). 



Terrestrial 
Ecosystems 

Introduction 



This section provides descriptions of ecosystems 
separated into forestlands and rangelands. 
Riparian areas are described in the Aquatic 
Ecosystems section. Discussion of plant and 
animal species that inhabit forestlands and 
rangelands is provided to help complete the 
picture of what makes up terrestrial (land-based) 
ecosystems. Broad-scale and landscape-level 
descriptions of vascular plants, non-vascular 
plants (bryophytes) , fungi, and lichens in the 
project area are also included. Changes in 
vegetation and habitat, with explanations of how 
these changes affect management decisions 
today, are discussed to set the stage for the 
management alternatives described in Chapter 3. 

Unless otherwise noted, material for this section 
was derived from the Landscape Dynamics (Hann 
et al. 1996) chapter of An Assessment of 
Ecosystem Components in the Interior Columbia 
Basin and Portions of the Klamath and Great 
BasinsiAEC; Quigley andArbelbide 1996b). 

Forestlands and rangelands in the planning area 
are highly diverse, ranging from moist areas near 
the crest of the Cascades to dry areas in the 
northern Great Basin. The varying soils and 
climates of forestlands, rangelands, and riparian 
areas support a diversity of plant species. 
Included are those that require moist sites, such 
as western hemlock, western redcedar, and 
huckleberries, and arid land species like 
sagebrush and Idaho fescue. Lodgepole pine and 
ponderosa pine forests are also found throughout 
much of the area. 

Huckleberries, buck brush, alder, and sagebrush 
are some of the shrubs found in forested areas. 
Juniper, bitterbrush, and associated bunch 
grasses occupy many drier sites. Riparian areas 
are located throughout forestlands and 
rangelands, and the wetter sites typical of 
riparian habitats support willow, brome grass, 
and other similar species. In addition, plant 
species important to American Indians for food or 
spiritual reasons are found in many locations. 
Plants used as food include camas, bitteroot, 
chokecherry, onion, cattail, and elderberry. 



In addition to mountain landscapes, there are 
vast plains, prairies, deserts, and rolling hills in 
the planning area. Their landscapes vary 
depending on soils and climate, and are often 
highly productive. In the absence of cultivation, 
sagebrush and grasses dominated the prairies 
and plains. Palouse prairie vegetation today is 
scarce in eastern Washington, where exotic 
grasses (primarily cheatgrass) now dominate 
large areas. 

Due to the wide variety of plant species and 
landscape forms distributed throughout the 
planning area, there is a diversity of animal 
species found within forestlands and rangelands. 
An assortment of animal species live in these 
areas, from the grizzly bear in the northern 
Cascades to the Townsend's big-eared bat in 
southern Oregon. There are 13,000 terrestrial 
animal and plant species addressed in the 
Terrestrial Ecology (Marcot et al. 1996) chapter of 
the AEC, of which 547 are vertebrates. 
Terrestrial wildlife species in the planning area 
that are listed by the federal government under 
the Endangered Species Act (1976) include: bald 
eagle, grizzly bear, northern spotted owl, and 
marbled murrelet, which are listed as 
threatened; peregrine falcon, woodland caribou, 
and gray wolf, listed as endangered; and spotted 
frog, which is a candidate for listing. Listed fish 
are described in the Aquatic Ecosystems section. 

Approximately 12,790 plant species are known in 
the project area; of these two are threatened, two 
are endangered, four are proposed for listing, and 
439 are Forest Service or BLM sensitive species. 
In the planning area, two plants are threatened, 
two are endangered, and three are candidates. 

To account for the primaiy aspects of terrestrial 
integrity, the Science Integration Team developed 
three broad concepts to assess terrestrial 
ecosystems, which contributed to preparation of 
the Terrestrial Ecosystems section of this chapter. 
The three concepts, have management implications 
at multiple scales, and are as follows: 

♦ Species viabUity. Includes threatened or 
endangered species, vertebrate candidate 
species, locally rare plants, andrare plants 
listed in natural heritage databases. This 
concept represents species that are commonly 
thought to be ofconcemfrom a viability 
standpoint. In Map 2-5, occupied habitats for 
seven threatened or endangered teirestrial 
vertebrates were overlay ed to display the 
areas of overlap among the species (peregrine 







Map 2-5. 

Terrestrial Vertebrates 

Threatened or Endangered Species 



50 100 150 km 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



Project Area 
1996 



Number of Species 
With Habitat Overlap: 



J 

J ; 
] 2 

3 

4 



^"^ 4tti HUC Boiind,iries 
-^^ MAJor RoAds 
^'^ LIS Area Border 



'14 






w|s«^ji^ 



f p'^/^ . 



#S5i'«4«>*'>(>f ) /* <„ 



5w>cJi.>A™^.-»»i-:K# i''W:S5^a^MS^!»■«v6•^.^ 



falcon, bald eagle, gray wolf, grizzly bear, 
woodland caribou, northern spotted owl and 
whooping crane). 

♦ Long-term evolutionary potential. 

Includes rare and endemic species habitats, 
and high biological diversity "hotspots" (see 
Map 2-6). This concept represents species 
that may require additional management 
emphasis to achieve their long-term 
evolutionary potential. These groups of 
species occur only in specific localized 
places and are highly susceptible to local 
extinction. One such species group, disjunct 
vertebrate species, are shown on Map 2-7. 

♦ Multiple ecological scales and evolutionEuy 
time frames. Includes species assemblages 
and ecosystems that are at the edges of their 
range. Species at the edges of their range 
often develop attributes or adaptations that 
resultfrom local ecological conditions not 
present in the center of their range. Such 
"fringe" areas often are important to species' 
evolutionary processes. An example of this, 
amphibians of the Columbia Gorge, is shown 
on Map 2-8. 

Change on the Landscape 

Change has always been a part of forestland and 
rangeland ecosystems. This chapter provides 
descriptions of changes in the recent past, and 
present conditions on the landscape. As 
observed by Mehringer (1995), "change is 
continual and change is unpredictable." Species 
have distributed and redistributed themselves 
across the landscape in response to influences 
from various disturbances (Mehringer 1995). 
The ebb and flow of glacial activity, repeated 
large-scale catastrophic floods, volcanic activity, 
and smaller-scale disturbances have created the 
ever-changing vegetative composition and 
structure within the planning area. The geologic 
history that influences these interactions is 
described in the Physical Environment section 
earlier in this chapter, and in more detail in the 
Landscape Dynamics(Hannetal. 1996) chapter 
of the A£C. 

Just as climate and drought cycles affect what 
types of vegetation will grow well in a particular 
area today, vegetation also responded to small- 
and large-scale climatic fluctuations in thepast. 
Fossil records show that forestlands and 
rangelands advanced and retreated in response 



to the advance and retreat of glaciers. The edge 
between forestlands and rangelands has shown 
the most significant movement in recent geologic 
history, changing in elevation as climates 
changed (Mehringer 1995). 

Volcanic activity, some on a much larger scale 
than the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens (which 
destroyed most of the forest cover on the north 
side of the mountain and deposited ash and 
debris as far east as western Montana) , removed 
or buried vegetation under layers of ash. In 
areas where vegetation was completely removed 
by lava or covered by ash, forestlands and 
rangelands slowly recolonized the bare soil. As 
the present day landscape was being molded, 
changes occurred over and over, at various 
degrees, and in different places. As vegetation 
patterns changed and adjusted to the different 
environment, the landscape gained a new look 
and different plant and animal relationships 
developed. The numbers of animal species that 
could be supported by the landscape changed; 
through time, some species gained habitat, while 
others lost habitat. 

Change continues today. Changes to existing 
landscapes can be a result of people's interaction 
with their environment. From burning fields to 
enhance the production of food resources, to the 
logging of forests to produce timber products, 
people have had effects on vegetation, animals, 
and on people themselves. 










Disturbances 

Examples of disturbances include fire, insects, 
diseases, harvest stonns, drought, floods, 
volcanoes, etc. 



^SJ^MtiiiliB" 




Map 2-6. 
Rarity/Endemism and 
Biodiversity Hotspots 



50 100 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



Overlap of hndenusm/Rdrity ^^^ Water 
and Biodiversity ^^^ 



I I 



Biodiversity Hotspots 



I I Rarity/Endemism IHotspots 



Major Rivers 
^^ Major Roads 
^^ EIS Area Border 




Map 2-7. 
Disjunct Vertebrate Species 



50 100 150 km 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



% of Total Number 
of DisjuncL 
Species Present: 



1% - 20% 
>20% - 40% 
>40% - 60% 
>60% - 80% 
>80% - 100% 



I 1 Nnn-BLM/F5 Lands 

or 0% of Species 

-^'■^ 4tti HUC Boundaries 

■^'"^ Major Roads 

""^^ tlS Area Border 



Project Area 
1996 




Map 2-8. 

Amphibians of the 

Columbia Gorge 

BLM and Forest Sendee 
Administered Lands Only 

INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



Number of ' ' 

Species: I "1 j 

2 

4 



■■''^ 4th HUC Boundaries 

-^^ Major Roads 

'^^ EIS Area Border 

® C/t/es and Towns 



Vegetation and Wildlife 
Classifications 

Vegetation 

The existing vegetative cover w^ithin an area, 
generally classified as a grass/forb, shrub, or 
tree species, can vary based on past 
disturbances. The term potential vegetation 
group (PVG) is used to represent all of the plant 
species that could grow on a specific site in the 
absence of disturbance, or vegetation that would 
grow on a site in the presence of frequent 
disturbance, which is an integral part of that 
ecosystem and its evolution. Potential vegetation 
groups are comprised of several potential 
vegetation types (see Table 2- 11 in the 
Forestland Section and Table 2- 13 in the 
Rangeland Section) . For example, the "Dry 
Douglas-fir with Ponderosa Pine" potential 
vegetation type in the dry forest potential 
vegetation group consists of Douglas-fir, 
ponderosa pine, and fescue bunch grass which 
grows on these sites when disturbance is not 
present. If disturbance kept the site from 
producing this mix of species, the site might 
instead be occupied by grass and shrubs, 
ponderosa pine, and other serai species unique 
to this type. 

For the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project, vegetation was grouped 
into 14 potential vegetation groups- dry forest, 
moist forest, cold forest, dry shrub, cool shrub, 
dry grass, riparian shrub, riparian herb, 
woodland alpine, agricultural, urban, water, and 
rock. These groupings were based on similar 
general moisture or temperature environments, 
and potential vegetation types. 

In this chapter, vegetation and habitats in 
terrestrial ecosystems are discussed by potential 
vegetation group. Dry forest, moist forest, and 
cold forest potential vegetation groups are 
described in the Forestlands section of this 
chapter, while dry shrub, cool shrub, and dry 
grass potential vegetation groups are discussed 
in the Rangelands section. Riparian shrub and 
riparian herb potential vegetation groups are 
addressed in the Riparian Areas subsection of 
the Aquatic Ecosystems section. The woodland 
potential vegetation group is scattered throughout 
the project area, and is therefore not described 
separately, but is referred to in various places. 



The alpine potential vegetation group has not 
been significantly altered from its historic 
condition and makes up only a small portion of 
the project area; therefore, it is not discussed in 
detail in this EIS. Agricultural, urban, water, 
and rock potential vegetation groups are not 
discussed in detail in this EIS because their 
geographic extent is relatively minimally 
influenced by agency management decisions. In 
addition, the greatest portion of agricultural and 
urban potential vegetation groups are located on 
private lands within the project area, which are 
beyond the scope of this EIS. 

Table 2-6 lists approximate acreage for the three 
forestland and three rangeland potential 
vegetation groups on Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands in the project area. 

Plants and Allies: Fungi, Lichens, 
Bryophytes, and Vascular Plants 

Most of the vegetation descriptions in thischapter 
focus on more common plant communities that 
comprise forestland and rangeland ecosystems in 
the project area. However, rare or sensitive 
plant species, and smaller and lesser known (but 
often critical) plants, form the base of each 
community in the ecosystem. 

The Terrestrial Ecology (Marcot et al. 1 996) 
chapter of theAECconsidered more than 12,000 
plant species in the project area, including 4,000 
non-vascular plants and plant allies (fungi and 
lichens). Among their findings: two were 
endangered species; two were threatened 
species; four were candidate species; and 385 
were classified as sensitive. This richness in 
plant diversity is a reflection of the variety of 
habitats found in the project area, ranging from 
alpine to desert conditions with different 
bedrock, soils, and temperature and moisture 
regimes. Plants are primary producers that 
convert energy from the sun into food and 
nutrients for all living organisms; they are the 
most critical component for ecosystem 
maintenance. In addition to ecosystem function, 
plant communities provide the foundation for the 
economic life of the project area. Commercial 
resources critical to the region's economy are 
provided by plants, including timber, forage, and 
other special plant products. 

Many groups of plants and plant allies play 
multiple, but often poorly-understood roles in 



^iP#'ap.^g|^^ 



Table 2-6. Total Forest Service/BLM Acres by PVG within each ERU, in the 
Eastside EIS Planning Area. 



Dry Moist Cold Dry Dry 

Ecological Reporting Unit Forest Forest Forest Grass Shrub 



Cool 
Shrub Total 



Northern Cascades 
(ERU 1) 

Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) 

Upper Klamath 
(ERU 3] 

Northern Great Basin 
(ERU 4) 

Columbia Plateau 
(ERU 5) 

Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6) 



343 



607 



1,338 



743 



627 



3,772 



in thousands of acres 
1,566 1,345 60 22 



824 338 



193 94 



16 



38 



25 



43 



96 



43 



43 6,072 



230 45 



99 



731 



Northern Glaciated Mountains 213 
(ERU 7) 



491 457 523 441 



1,148 86 



Owyhee Uplands 
(ERU 10) 

Total 



20 



<.5 <.5 3,410 



24 3,360 

98 1,908 

68 1,774 

298 7,295 

808 2,540 

441 6,125 

< .5 1,459 

484 3,915 



7,663 4,549 2,408 788 10,747 2,221 28,376 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
PVG = potential vegetation group 
ERU = ecological reporting unit 
EIS = environmental impact statement 

Source: ICBEMP GIS data (converted to 1 km^ raster data) and Harm et al. (1996). 



functional and sustainable ecosystems. 
Different levels of information are available for 
each plant, fungi, lichen, or bryophyte (mosses 
and liverworts) group. The vast majority of 
plant data is available for those vascular plant 
species that are currently listed as sensitive, 
threatened, or endangered. There is 
considerably less site-specific data available 
for the fungi, lichens and bryophytes. 

Fungi 

Fungi are the least understood group of plant- 
related organisms in the project area. One key 
role of fungi in ecosystems is that of a 
decomposer; recycling nutrients within an 
ecosystem to make them available for use by 
other living organisms. Many species of fungi 



(mycorrhizae) also play a role in assisting 
moisture and nutrient absorption by plants 
through beneficial relationships with plant 
roots. Other species of fungi in the project 
area have commercial value and economic 
importance. Due to the limited knowledge of 
this group of organisms, effects of management 
activities on fungi are difficult to determine. 
Therefore, this group of plants is not discussed 
further in this EIS. 

Lichens 

Lichens, which are organisms made up of algae 
and fungi, are represented by at least 736 
species in the project area. Lichens function 
in a wide variety of ecosystems as food sources 
for animals, such as deer, elk, caribou, flying 



squirrels, red-backed voles, andwoodrats; and 
they contribute living matter to forestland and 
rangeland soils. Birds and small mammals use 
lichens to build nests. When attached to tree 
branches, lichens also absorb moisture. 
Microbiotic crusts consist of both lichens and 
bryophytes , and cover and protect what would 
otherwise be bare soil between grass clumps 
and/or shrubs. Lichens also play a role in the 
initial establishment of plant communities on 
surfaces such as bare rock, through the 
breaking down of rock into soil that is more 
conducive to plant growth. Some lichens are 
used as food by American Indians, and others 
are used as bio-indicators for air quality, or as 
environmental purifiers where heavy metals 
accumulate. Other species of lichens may 
prove to have medicinal values. 

Lichens are affected when their substrate 
(dead plant matter, tree bark, tree trunks 
without bark, rock, and soil) is modified 
through timber harvest, mining, livestock 
grazing, fire, or invasion of exotic annual 
grasses. Lichens also appear to be sensitive to 
the planting of uncharacteristically high 
numbers of trees; artificially dense forest 
stands create unsuitable habitat for most 
lichens. One lichen is currently listed as a 
candidate species (Howell's spectacular 
thelypody) . Basic knowledge about these 
species and their interactions is limited, and 
therefore is not discussed further in this EIS. 

Bryophytes 

Non-vascular plants include mosses, liverworts, 
and hornworts (bryophytes) . Like other plant 
allies, bryophytes are poorly understood, and 
even the most basic information is lacking for 
some. Approximately 800 species of bryophytes 
are known to occur in the project area, four of 
which are endemic, meaning they grow nowhere 
else. They are found on substrates, such as wet 
soil, alkali soil, calcareous rock, peatlands, 
geothermal areas, and deca3ang wood. Since 
bryophytes produce chlorophyll (a green pigment 
which absorbs light and is converted into food 
and nutrients for other living organisms) , they 
function in ecosystems as a food source. 
Bryophytes, much like lichens, also play a role in 
the initial establishment of plant communities on 
surfaces such as bare rock, through the breaking 
down of rock into soil that is more conducive to 
plant growth. 



Of bryophytes known in the project area, 360 
appear to be rare. As a group, they are 
affected by the same activities as lichens. For 
species found on wet rocks, or for aquatic 
submerged species, changes in water quality 
may impact bryophyte composition and 
distribution. Like other plant allies, basic 
knowledge about these species and their 
interactions is limited. Therefore, they are not 
discussed further in this EIS. 

Vascular Plants 

Approximately 8,000 vascular plant species are 
found in the project area. Vascular plants are 
"ordinary" plants which have roots, stems, 
leaves, and reproductive structures. Included in 
the vascular plant group are ferns and fern 
allies, cone-bearing plants such as conifers, and 
flowering plants. Vascular plants in the project 
area are remarkably diverse with species found 
in a wide spectrum of habitats. 

Vascular plants function as the basis of the food 
webs that sustain life on earth. Vascular plant 
species protect exposed soil from the erosive 
forces of wind and water through the binding 
action of their roots. They also serve to regulate 
stream temperatures by providing shade to 
streams, and enhancing habitat for aquatic and 
riparian area-dependent species. 

Among the species known in the project area, 
154 are regionally endemic and 87 are of concern 
to American Indian tribes. Approximately 526 of 
the species are sensitive, or of special 
management concern to the Forest Service or 
BLM. Of particular concern are plant 
communities affected by grazing, introduced 
exotic species, and timber harvest. One of the 
findings of the Scientific Assessmentwas that 
plant species or groups in native bunch grass 
types and low elevation cedar/ hemlock forests 
currently have the lowest amount of habitat area, 
and also showed the greatest negative change 
(loss) over time (Terrestrial Ecology [Marcot et al. 
1996] chapter of the AEC). Species that are 
federally listed as threatened or endangered and 
that occur in the project area include: Water 
howellia (threatened), Applegate's milk-vetch 
(endangered), MacFarlane's four-o'clock 
(threatened), and Malheur wire-lettuce 
(threatened). All of these species occur in the 
Eastside planning area. 



Noxious Weeds 

There are 862 exotic (non-native) plant species 
that have been documented in the project area, of 
which 113 ai-e considered noxious weeds 
[Terrestrial Ecology [Marcot et al. 1996] chapter of 
theAEC). "Noxious" is a legal classification 
rather than an ecological term. Plants that can 
exert substantial negative environmental or 
economic impact can be designated as noxious by 
various government agencies. Federal and state 
laws require certain actions be directed at the 
management of noxious weeds. 

Vegetation in both forestlands and rangelands is 
being invaded by noxious weeds at an accelerating 
rate, jeopardizing public expectations, 
consumptive and non-consumptive uses, 
including livestock grazing, timber production, 
and wildlife and scenery viewing. Noxious weeds 
reduce these uses by displacing native plant 
species and lessening natural biological diversity; 
degrading soil integrity, nutrient cycling, and 
energy flow; and interfering with site-recovery 
mechanisms, such as seed banks, that allow a 
site to recover following disturbance. 

Wildlife 

Two hierarchical classifications for wildlife 
species were used in the Terrestrial Ecology 
(Marcot etal. 1996) chapter of theAEC: one 
for "Key Ecological Functions" and one for "Key 
Environmental Correlates." Key Ecological 
Functions comprise a wide range of roles that 
species play in the ecosystem, such as 
predation, herbivory, nutrient cycling, and 
biomass (total quantity of living organisms of 
one or more species) . Key Environmental 
Correlates consist of environmental factors 
either associated with or required by a given 
species, such as forest canopies, downed wood, 
snags, or piles of bark. Both Key Ecological 
Functions and Key Environmental Correlates 
were used when discussing terrestrial species 
and their habitats. This subsection provides 
examples of wildlife species, key ecological 
functions, and species that depend on certain 
key environmental correlates. 

The seven Importantkey ecological functions are: 

♦ major biomass accumulations in an 
ecosystem; 

♦ herbivory; 

♦ nutrient cycling; 



♦ interspecies relations (species that depend on 
each other); 

♦ soils relations (species that interact with the 
soil, such as moles and voles); 

♦ wood relations (decomposers); and 

♦ water relations (amphibians and reptiles) . 

The ten important key environmental correlates 
upon which species depend are: 

♦ forest canopy; 

♦ mistletoe brooms; 

♦ dead parts of live trees; 

♦ exfoliating bark; 

♦ snags; 

♦ downed wood; 

♦ bark piles at the base of trees; 

♦ litter and duff; 

♦ fire processes and insect outbreaks; and 

♦ recreation activity, roads, and trails. 

Changes in vegetation composition, distribution, 
and structure; climate; water availability and 
quality; soil characteristics; and human 
disturbance may all affect terrestrial species 
habitats. The degree to which any species is 
affected depends on (1) the magnitude of 
change, (2) the ability of a species to move to 
other blocks of the same habitat or other 
habitat types, (3) the distribution and 
interconnections of species populations, (4) the 
sensitivity of these species or their habitat to 
human activity, and (5) many other factors that 
are not always well understood. Species 
populations can increase or decrease because 
of habitat changes that affect their distribution, 
density, access to habitat, or a combination of 
all three. Thus, what may be harmful to one 
species may benefit or have no effect on 
another, or may affect the ways that terrestrial 
species interact with and affect other species 
[Terrestrial Ecology (Marcot et al. 1996] chapter 
of theAEC). 

Habitat trends are not meant to be interpreted 
only as trends in population size for individual 
species. In part, this is because the 
abundance of animals (or lack thereof) can be 
affected by factors other than habitat quality, 
quantity, or distribution. For example, even if 
habitat remains constant, climatic conditions 



during breeding or wintering may cause 
changes in species population size and density. 
However, local habitat changes could have 
affected certain species or groups of species. 
Specific changes in wildlife habitat related to 
vegetation are discussed in the Rangelands and 
Forestlands sections. 

Not all information is known about all species, 
their habitat requirements, and current 
conditions in the project area. It would be 
undesirable and unrealistic to apply species 
habitat relationship requirements project area- 
wide because of the great variation and 
complexity of habitats within an area this large. 
For example, while sonie species occur 
throughout the project area, it would be 
unwise to use habitat relationships in moist 
forests for the same species that also occur in 
dry or cold forests. Some of their requirements 
will be the same and some will not, depending 
on the individual species. Local habitat 
conditions which most species have adapted to 
need to be evaluated for applicability. 

Plant communities and their successional 
stages, as well as many other environmental 
factors, provide unique environmental 
conditions that are ecologically important as 
niches for wildlife species (Thomas etal. 1979). 
Many terrestrial wildlife species can be found 
in more than one forestland or rangeland 
potential vegetation group. In part, this is 
because sometimes an important habitat 
characteristic for one particular wildlife 
species may be a certain vegetative structure 
that can be found in more than one vegetation 
type. For example, while some wildlife species 
need large diameter trees, the particular type 
of tree may be unimportant to some species yet 
important to others. However, some of the 
information from the Terrestrial Ecology 
(Marcot et al. 1996) chapter of the AEC 
databases enabled the Science Integration 
Team to discuss wildlife species or groups 
separately within particular forestland or 
rangeland potential vegetation groups that 
were identified in the Landscape Dynamics 
(Hannetal. 1996) chapter of the AEC. 
Therefore, this EIS follows the same convention 
and displays wildlife information by potential 
vegetation group where possible, for ease of 
tracking changes in vegetation on the 
landscape and the broad-scale effects of 
changes in terrestrial wildlife species. 



Natural Areas 

Natural areas are defined as areas managed by 
various landowners for a variety of purposes, but 
which are maintained in a relatively natural 
state, with minimal human disturbance. Natural 
areas are designated for purposes of recreation, 
research, monitoring, habitat protection, 
education, and scenic quality. They include 
designated wildernesses, wilderness study 
areas, research natural areas, areas of critical 
environmental concei'n, botanical areas, and 
similar areas. They can occur in all categories of 
land allocations, and can vary in management 
objectives and allowed uses. Natural Areas are 
intended to represent the spectrum of 
vegetation, habitats, physical settings, and land 
types within a region. 

Natural areas are distributed throughout the 
project area. Within the project area 
approximately 28 percent of the Forest Service- 
and BLM-administered land is within some type 
of natural area designation or category. Natural 
areas in the project area tend to be in the upper 
elevation, forested portions of the landscape. 
Cold forests represent approximately 35 percent 
of the area that is within natural areas (mainly 
wildernesses or wilderness study areas) because 
of their scenic beauty, recreation demand, and 
lack of roads and development. Nine percent of 
moist and mid-elevation forests are within 
natural areas, although some of these forests are 
also represented in some unroaded areas. 
Forested habitats in lower elevations are the 
least represented within natural areas. 

Of the rangeland areas included within 
Congressionally or administratively designated 
natural areas, five percent of cool shrub, three 
percent of dry grass and dry shrub, seven 
percent of riparian shrub, and seven percent of 
woodland are represented. This compares to 59 
percent of alpine areas, 35 percent of cold forest, 
and 55 percent of rock areas represented within 
natural area designations (includes all 
ownerships within the project area). 

In summary, relatively few rangeland types are 
being specifically managed under low human 
disturbance regimes for the general goals of 
established natural areas, for example, 
recreation, research, monitoring, habitat 
protection, education, and scenic quality. 






The Assessment ofEcosystem Components 
analyzed the size-class distribution of natural 
areas and vertebrate home ranges to determine 
the value of natural areas in maintaining 
vertebrate communities. All natural areas and 
species were pooled without regard for habitat 
composition and use differences. For this broad 
treatment, the simplified assumption was made 
that natural areas were isolated from adjacent 
habitat that inight have increased the effectiveness 
of the natural area for species conservation and 
management. In reality, this may not always be 
the case, and much of the land surrounding 
some natural areas also contributes suitable 
habitat for vertebrate species. 

Even small natural areas (less than 125 acres] 
would be expected to contain at least one 
individual, and perhaps small populations, of 70 
percent of vertebrate species. Natural areas 
larger than 1 ,600 acres would be expected to 
contain 90 percent of the vertebrate species 
typical of the habitat for natural areas in general. 
Natural areas would have to be at least 24,700 
acres before 99 percent of the vertebrate species 
would be expected to occur. Of existing natural 
areas in the project area, 1 6 percent are larger 
than 24,700 acres. Expectations of species 
occurrence based on home range size does not 
necessarily mean that a particular sized natural 
area would contain viable populations of all 
associated species. Natural areas would have to 
be several times larger than the area of an 
individual home range for most species to 
support enough individuals for a viable 
population. Many factors relative to species 
would need to be considered to ensure natural 
areas fully address viability concerns. 



Forestlands 



^ 



\ 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Biophysical template- The successional and disturbance processes, as well as landf orm, soil, water, and 
climate conditions that form tlie native system through which species of plaiits and animals evolve. 

Disturbance'- Refers to events that alter the structure, composition, or function of terrestrial or aquatic 
habitats. Natural disturbances include, among others, drought, floods, wind, fires, wildlife grazing, arid 
insects and pathogens. Human-caused disturbances include actions such as timber harvest, livestock 
grazing, roads, and the introduction of exotic species. 

Ecotone- A transition area of vegetation between two plant communities, havii-ig characteristics of both 
kinds of neighboring vegetation as well as characteristics of its own. Varies in width depending on site 
and climatic factors. 

Landscape composition ~ The types of stands or patches (see definition below) present across a given area 
of land. 

Landscape structure ~ The mix and distribution of stands or patch (see definition below) sizes across a 
given area of land. Patch sizes, shapes, and distributions are a reflection of the major disturbance regimes 
operating on the laiidscape. 

Old forest ~ (a) Old single-story forest refers to mature forest characterized by a single canopy layer 
consisting of large or old trees. Understory trees are often absent, or present in randomly spaced patches. It 
generally consists of widely spaced, shade-intolerant species, such as ponderosa pine and western larch, 
adapted to a non-lethal, high frequency fire regime, (b) Old multi-story forest refers to mature forest 
characterized by two or more canopy layers with generally large or old trees in the upper canopy. 
Understory trees are also usually present, as a result of a lack of frequent disturbance to the understory. It 
can include both shade- tolerant and shade-intolerant species, and is generally adapted to a mixed fire 
regime of both letlial and non-letlial fires. 

Patch (stand) ~ Aii area of uniform vegetation that differs from what surrounds it in structure and 
composition. Examples might include a patch of forest surrounded by a cut-over area or a patch of dense 
young forest surrounded by a patch of open old forest. 

Regeneration ~ The process of establishing a new crop of trees on previously harvested laiid; also refers to 
the new crop of trees that have become established. 

Serai ~ Refers to the sequence of transitional plant communities during succession. Early-seral or young- 
seral refers to plants that are present soon after a disturbance or at the beginning of a new successional 
process (such as seedling or sapling growth stages in a forest); mid-seral in a forest would refer to pole or 
medium sawtimber growth stages; late- or old-seral refers to plants present during a later stage of plant 
community succession (such as mature and old forest stages). 

Species composition ~ The mix of different types of vegetation in an ecosystem. For example, in a forest, 
species composition refers to the mix of different types of trees 

Stand (patch) density- The number of trees growing in a given area; in forests, usually expressed in terms 
of trees per acre. 

Stand (patch) structure- The mix and distribution of tree sizes, layers, and ages iri a forest. Some stands 
are all one size (single-story), some are two-story, and some are a mix of trees of different ages and sizes 
(multi-story). (See Table 2-8 for structural stages used in this EIS to describe stand structure.) 



as . -ArMr S- ^*aJ4.«, 



'v.A'Aiwie^rtvA' <\ w ■w> w^'WSv^l 



SuTTiTnary of Conditions 
and Trends 

The following trends have been noted in 
forestlands of the project area due to departures 
from native disturbance and successional 
processes since historical times. These broad- 
scale changes in forest health conditions have 
influenced the susceptibility of forests to 
uncharacteristic wildfires and large-scale insect 
and disease events, and have affected habitat for 
many wildlife species. 

♦ Interior ponderosa pine has decreased across 
its range with a significant decrease in old 
single-story structure. The primary 
transitions were to interior Douglas-fir and 
grand fir /white fir. 

♦There has been a loss of the large ti'ee 
component (live and dead) within roaded and 
harvested areas. This decrease affects 
terrestrial wildlife species that are closely 
associated with these old forest structures. 

♦ Western larch has decreased across its range. 
The primary transitions were to interior 
Douglas-fir, lodgepolepine, or grand fir/ 
white fir. 

♦Western white pine has decreased by 95 
percent across its range. The primary 
transitions were to grand fir /white fir, western 
larch, and shrub/herb/tree regeneration. 

♦The whitebark pine/alpine larch potential 
vegetation type has decreased by 95 percent 
across its range, primarily through a 
transition into the whitebark pine cover type. 
Overall, however, the whitebark pine cover 
stand has also decreased, with compensating 
increases in Engelmann spruce /subalpine fir. 

♦ Generally, mid-seral forest structures have 
increased in dry and moist forest potential 
vegetation groups (PVG), with a loss of large, 
scattered, and residual shade-intolerant tree 
components, and an increase in the density of 
smaller shade-tolerant diameter trees. 

♦ There has been an increase in fragmentation 
and a loss of connectivity within and between 
blocks of late-seral. old forests, especially in 
lower elevation forests and riparian areas. 
This has isolated some animal habitats and 
populations and reduced the ability of 
populations to move across the landscape. 



resulting in a long-term loss of genetic 
interchange. 

♦There has been an increase in access for 
humans which has decreased the availability 
of areas with low human activities. These 
areas are important to large forest carnivores 
and omnivores (meat and plant eatingj. 



Introduction 

"Forest health" is defined as the condition in 
which forest ecosystems sustain their 
complexity, diversity, resiliency, and 
productivity while providing for human needs 
and values. It is a useful way to communicate 
about the current condition of the forest, 
especially with regard to resiliency, a part of 
forest health which describes the ability of an 
ecosystem to respond to disturbances. 
Resiliency is one of the properties that enables a 
system to persist through many different states 
or successional stages. Forest health and 
resiliency can be described, in part, by species 
composition, distribution, density, and structure; 
and landscape composition and structure. 

To understand forest health, it is important to 
recognize that forests are constantly changing 
through a combination of disturbances such as 
fire, climate, insects, disease, timber harvest, 
and grazing. Change determines the plant and 
animal species that will exist in forested areas, 
and governs future products, recreational 
opportunities, habitats, and other resources 
provided by forests. 

Unless otherwise noted, material for this section was 
derived from the Landscape Dynamics (Harm et al. 
1996) andTerrestriafEcofogy (Marcotetal. 1996) 
chapters of An Assessment of Ecosystem 
Components in the Interior Columbia Basin and 
Portions of the Klamath and Great Basins (AEC; 
QuigleyandArbelbide 1996b). 

Forested Potential Vegetation Groups 

As mentioned previously, forestlands in the 
project area are divided into and described by 
three groups: dry, moist, and cold forest 
potential vegetation groups (see Figure 2-5) . 
Potential vegetation groups are comprised of 
several potential vegetation types. Table 2-7 
shows these classifications. 



Data on these groups were analyzed for the entire 
project area, not by EIS planning area; therefore, 
the following discussions generally describe the 
project area. 

The forestland potential vegetation groups are 
described in this section by distribution, 
composition, structure; and historical and 
current conditions, disturbance patterns, and 
disturbance processes. Historical and current 
distribution of the forestland groups are shown 
on Maps 2-9 and 2-10. Terrestrial (land-based) 
wildlife species, their habitats, and associated 
changes are also discussed. 

Succession and Disturbance 

Plants respond to influences and disturbances 
from animals, people, and even other plant species 
by growing in patterns of succession. 
"Disturbance" refers to events that alter the 
structure, composition, and/ or function of 
terrestrial or aquatic habitats. Historically, 



disturbances in the proj ect area generally followed 
cycles of infrequent, high intensity events (such as 
drought, floods, or crown fires) interspersed with 
frequent, low intensity events (such as non-lethal 
underburns, annual wildlife grazing cycles, or 
scattered tree mortality from bark beetles). 
Figure 2-6 shows the different fire types and 
Table 2-8 defines commonly used fire terms. 

"Succession" refers to a predictable process of 
changes in structure and composition of plant 
and animal communities over time. Successional 
(or serai) stages are often described in terms of 
early-seral, mid-seral, or late-seral to reflect the 
species and/or condition of vegetation and 
animal communities generally characteristic of 
different periods of succession (see Figure 2-7 
and Table 2-9). 

Successional growth and the development of 
vegetation, combined with disturbance, result In 
vegetation changes across the forested landscape. 
For example, shade- intolerant trees, those that 



Cold Forest 



Moist Forest 



Dry Forest 




Figure 2-5. Forested Potential Vegetation Groups- 
disturbance patterns. 



These groups are classified by climate, species, and 






Table 2-7. Forestland Vegetation Classifications. 



Potential Vegetation Group 



Potential Vegetation Types 



Dry Forest 



Dry Douglas-Fir with Ponderosa Pine 

Dry Douglas-Fir without Ponderosa Pine 

Dry Grand Fir/White Fir 

Interior Ponderosa Pine 

Lodgepole Pine - Oregon 

Lx)dgepole Pine - Yellowstone 

Pacific Ponderosa Pine/Sierra Mixed Conifer 



Moist Forest 



Cold Forest 



Cedar/Hemlock - East Cascades 

Cedar/Hemlock - Inland 

Grand Fir /White Fir - East Cascades 

Grand Fir/White Fir - Inland 

Moist Douglas-Fir 

Pacific Silver Fir 

Spruce-Fir Wet 

Mountain Hemlock - East Cascades 
Mountain Hemlock - Inland 
Mountain Hemlock/ Shasta Red Fir 
Spruce-Fir Dry with Aspen 
Spruce-Fir Diy without Aspen 
Spruce-Fir (more lodgepole pine than white 

bark pine] 
Spruce-Fir (more white bark pine than 

lodgepole pine) 
White Bark Pine/Alpine Larch - North 
White Bark Pine/Alpine Larch - South 



Source: Hann etal (1996). 



grow better in open sunlight, may dominate newly 
opened forested areas. They may continue to 
dominate if disturbance events remove enough of 
the existing trees to allow a new generation to 
reproduce and grow in the sunny, open areas. If 
such a disturbance does not open up the forest to 
sunlight, shade-intolerant trees mature and 
create shade on the forest floor, which does not 
allow their own seedlings to become established, 
but does allow other more shade-tolerant species 
to take root. These new trees will continue to 
grow in the shade of the overstory, and wrill 
eventually dominate the forest unless they are 
removed by fire, wind, harvest, or another 
disturbance, returning sunlight to the forest floor 
and allowing shade-intolerant species to once 



again become established in open areas. A 
partial list of common shade-tolerant and 
intolerant species can be found in Table 2-10. 

The interaction of successional and 
disturbance processes, constrained by the 
dynamics of landform, soil, water, and climate, 
creates the basic "native biophysical template" 
in which native species have evolved. Insect, 
disease, and fire disturbance events react 
differently, and affect forested stands 
differently, depending on species composition, 
density, and structure. Regional-scale changes 
in landscape patterns over time can be 
described as changes in vegetation structure 
(heights, sizes, and ages of vegetation) and 







Map 2-9. 

Forest Potential Vegetation Groups 

Historical 



SO 50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



Cold Forest 



Major Rivers 



H Dry Forest ^'^ Major Roads 
Moist Forest ''"^ US Area Border 




Map 2-10. 

Forest Potential Vegetation Groups 

Current 



LSO miles 



50 ]00 130 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
"1996 



Cold Forest ^^-^' Major Rivers 
Dry Forest ^'^ Mdjor Roads 
Moist Forest ''"^ EIS Area Border 



composition (percent of each species occurring 
on a site). These characterize changes that 
have occurred in successional and disturbance 
processes, which may indicate changes in 
ecological function and overall forest health. 



Definition: 
Historical Conditions 

Historical conditions ~ The vegetation types, 
structural stages, dynamics, and other 
conditions and processes that are iiiceiy to have 
occurred prior to European settiement, 
approximateiy the mid-1 800s. This time period is 
used only as a reference point to understand 
ecological processes and functions. In many 
cases it is neither desired, nor possible, to return 
to actual historical conditions. 



Successional and disturbance processes have 
changed considerably since settlement of the 



J 



project area. New disturbances, such as timber 
harvest and the introduction of exotic species, as 
well as changes in the frequency or intensity of 
disturbance resulting from fire suppression or 
exclusion, have created conditions and 
disturbance regimes different from those which 
native plant and animal species adapted to. 
Table 2-11 shows the changes in fire regime in 
dry, moist, and cold forest potential vegetation 
groups from historic to current. Figures 2-8 and 
2-9 summarize changes in structural stages and 
shade tolerance , by potential vegetation group , 
that have occurred on lands administered by the 
Forest Service or BLM in the project area. 

Some terrestrial wildlife species are found in all 
potential vegetation groups in the project area. 
Similarly, shrub and grasslands occur in all 
potential vegetation groups, including forested 
areas. These areas, called transitory range, provide 
forage for wildlife and livestock. Terrestrial species 
that are common to all forested potential vegetation 



High heat creates convection currents 
intensifying fire movements 




Figure 2-6. Fire Types ~ Fires are often referred to by which layer of available fuel is sustaining the 
spread of the fire. See Table 2-8 for fire terms and definitions. 






Forestlands 



Table 2-8. Fire Terms and Definitions (Forestlands/Rangelands). 



Fire Term 



Definition 



Crown fire 

Fire cycle 
Fire regime 

Fire severity 

Fireline intensity 

Fuel 

Fuel ladder 

Fuel load 
Ground fire 
Lethal fire 



A fire burning into the crowns of the vegetation, generally associated with 
ail inteiise overs tory fire. 

The average time between fires in a given area. 

The characteristic frequency, predictability, intensity, seasonality, and 
extent of fires in an ecosystem. 

The effect of fire on plant communities. For trees, it is often measured as 
the percentage of basal area killed by fire. 

The rate of heat release along a unit length of fireline, measured in BTUs 
per foot per second often equated to flame lengths. 

Dry, dead vegetation which can readily burn. 

Vegetative structures or conditions such as low-growing tree branches, 
shrubs, or smaller trees that allow fire to move vertically from a surface 
fire to a crown fire. 

The dry weight of combustible materials per unit area; usually expressed 
as tons per acre. 

A fire that burns along the forest floor, and does not affect trees with thick 
bark or high crown bases. 

A wildland fire that kills the overstory vegetation on a site. For example, a 
lethal fire in a forest would generally kill the overstory trees, either by 
crown scorch or by basal injury. A lethal fire in a grass /shrub community 
would kill the overstory of shrubs. Both fires are lethal, but there can be 
great differences in the actual fire intensity. 

Rangeland fires in which vegetation structure and composition, three years 
following the fire, are similar to pre-burn conditions. 

Fires possessing a mosaic of fire intensities which result in intermediate 
effects that vary across the landscape. 

Intentional use of fire to achieve specific forest and soil management 
objectives; under controlled conditions, the area burned, smoke emitted, 
and fire intensity can be controlled. 

A fire ignited by natural processes (usually lightning) and allowed to burn 
within specified parameters of fuels, weather, and topography to achieve 
specified resouixe management objectives. 

Afire burning along the surface without significant movement into the 
understory or overstoiy, usually below one meter (three feet) flame length. 

Burn by a surface fire. 

A fire that burns in the understory, more intense than a surface fire with 
flame lengths of one to three meters (three to nine feet). 

A human or naturally caused fire that does not meet resource management 
objectives. 

Abbreviations used in ttiis table: 
BTUs = Britisfi Thermal Units 



Non-lethal fire 
Mixed fire 
Prescribed fire 

Prescribed natural fire 

Surface fire 

Underburn 
Understory fire 

Wildfire 







Old Forest, 
Multistory 



Figure 2-7. Forest Successional Stages ~ Potential forest succession stages are 
predictable changes in vegetation that can be described by stand structure, growth 
patterns, and disturbance patterns. Conditions of one successional stage create 
conditions that are favorable for the establishment of the next stage. 






Forestlands 



Table 2-9. Structural Stages Often Used to Describe Changes in Forest 
Vegetation Structure Over Time. 



Structural Stage 



Definition 



Also Referred to As 



Stand IniLiaUon 



Stem exclusion-open 
canopy 

Stem exclusion-closed 
canopy 

Understory reinitiation 



Young forest multi- 
story 



Old multi-story 



Old single-story 



When land is reoccupied by trees 
following a stand-replacing 
disturbance. 

Forested areas where the occurrence 
of new trees is predominantly 
limited by moisture. 

Forested areas where the occurrence 
of new trees is predominantly 
limited by light. 

When a second generation of trees 
is established under an older, 
typically serai, overstory. 

Stand development resulting from 
frequent harvest or lethal disturbance 
to the overstory. 

Forested areas lacking frequent 
disturbance to understory vegetation. 



Forested areas resulting from frequent 
non-lethal prescribed or natural 
underburning, or other management. 



Early-successional 

Early-seral 

Regeneration 

Mid-successional 
Mid-seral 
Young forest 

Mid-successional 
Mid-seral 
Young forest 

Mid-successional 
Mid-seral 
Young forest 

Mid-successional 
Mid-seral 
Young forest 

Late-successional 

multi-story 
Late-seral multi-story 
Old forest multi-story 

Late-successional 
single-story 
Late-seral single-story 
Old forest single-story 



Table 2-10. Common Shade-Tolerant/Intolerant Tree Species in the 
Planning Area. 



Shade-tolerant Tree Species 



Shade-intolerant Tree Species 



Grand fir 
White fir 
Douglas-fir (sometimes) 



Pacific ponderosa pine 
Interior ponderosa pine 
Lodgepole pine 
Douglas-fir (sometimes) 
Western larch (sometimes) 






jMH.jH.j».,»^i!!&4»SjSiK!»ySt,!HH Ji 31. ,V.r . 



H. ^J<3^".^ V'^,iHt^ii>^.i O >^^i^* 



groups, and to txansitoiy range, are discussed next. 
Wildlife species that occur predominantly in one or 
two potential vegetation groups are discussed in 
those sections. 

Terrestrial Wildlife Species 
and Habitats 

This section describes the wildlife species 
common to all forested vegetation groups in the 
project area, their status if federally listed as a 
threatened, endangered, or candidate species, 
list, and their habitat requirements. 

Large Carnivores and Omnivores 

Carnivores are those species that eat only meat, 
while omnivores eat a combination of meat and 
vegetation. The project area includes six species 
of large carnivores and omnivores including 
grizzly and black bears, gray wolves, mountain 
lions, lynx, and wolverine. The grizzly bear 
(threatened) and gray wolf (endangered) are 
federally listed under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973, as amended; two carnivores (the lynx 
and fisher) have recently undergone a status 
review by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to 
determine whether they should be listed. Two 
other carnivore species are considered species of 
concern (see Glossary) by the U.S Fish and 
Wildlife Service: the Pacific fisher and American 
marten. These species are at the top of the food 




Serai Stages 

Serai stages are identified vegetation groups, 
based on -plant species, disturbance patterns, 
and growth patterns. Stages transition until 
they reach a climax stage. 



chain (see Figure 2-10) and are indicators of total 
biodiversity and ecosystem health. As such, they 
are susceptible to changes in habitat, especially 
changes associated with human activities, such 
as road building, traffic, recreation, logging, 
mining, and grazing, all of which occur in forested 
ecosystems. Unroaded areas and wildernesses 
that exceed various species' home ranges, are 
essential for their continued existence, especially 
those whose ranges that extend into Canada. 
These areas provide for emigration to help re- 
establish forest carnivores and omnivores. 

The Canada lynx, which evolved in areas with 
patches of regeneration and old forest, now have to 
travel greater distances to find food and denning 
sites (Martin et al. 1995). Areas with moist forests, 
such as the Northern Cascades (ERU 1) , have 
become more isolated as cover needed for travel 
between patches is removed by highways, cities, 
rural housing, and reservoirs, causing bcirriers to 
migration. These changes have negative effects on 
grizzly bears, wolves, wolverine, and fisher, which 
have lost much of their historical range (Martin et 
al. 1995, and Marcotetal.inEverettetal. 1994). 

Some carnivores and omnivores in northern 
portions of the project area, such as the grizzly 
bear, gray wolf, Canada lynx, wolverine, Pacific 
fisher, and American marten, interact with 
populations in British Columbia and Alberta 
Canada. The Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) 
contain large blocks of wilderness and unroaded 
lands in both the moist forest and subalpine 
cover types. These areas interconnect with 
habitat blocks in Canada and have the greatest 
species richness of forest carnivores in the 
project area. These large, mobile species have 
large home ranges and often run into conflicts 
with humans and livestock when wildlife habitat 
is reduced. 

Map 2-11 shows some of the key linkage areas for 
terrestrial species in the project area. 

Federally Listed Threatened, Endangered, 
and Candidate Species 

As of May 1996, the bald eagle, grizzly bear, 
northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, water 
howellia, and MacFarlane's four-o'clock were 
federally listed as threatened terrestrial species; 
the peregrine falcon, woodland caribou, gray 
wolf, Malheur wire-lettuce, and Applegate's 
milkvetch were endangered species; and the 



- '• Af i-\itf^i\i 



Table 2-11. Changes in Fire Regime in Forest Potential Vegetation Groups for 
FS- and BLM-administerd Lands. 



Fire Regime Class 



Cold Cold Moist Moist Dry Dry 

Forest Forest Forest Forest Forest Forest 

Historic Ctirrent Historic Current Historic Current 



Rarely Btums or No Data 



percent 



0.2 



0.2 



Nonlethal, veiy frequent 

(<25 years) 
Nonlethal, frequent 

(26 - 75 years) 
Nonlethal, infrequent 

(76- 150 years) 
Total Nonlethal 

Mixed, very frequent 

(<25 years) 
Mixed, frequent 

(26 - 75 years) 
Mixed, infrequent 

(76- 150 years) 
Mixed, very infrequent 

(151 -300 years) 
Total Mixed 

Stand-replacing, very frequent 

(<25 years) 
Stand-replacing, frequent 

(26 - 75 years) 
Stand-replacing, infrequent 

(76- 150 years) 
Stand-replacing, very infrequent 

(151 -300 years) 
Stand-replacing, exti-emely infrequent 

(>300 years) 
Total Stand-replacing 



■ 





30 





71 


0.2 


12 





4 





7 


0.1 


2 





7 


17 


5 


45 


14 





41 


17 


83 


45 


Q 





0.8 











5 





20 


3 


0.1 


3 


62 


55 


16 


23 


6 


35 


4 





4 











71 


55 


40 


26 


6 


38 




















2 





3 


1 


9 








6 


4 


31 


2 


17 


11 


38 


9 


23 





0.2 




















13 


44 


16 


55 


11 


17 



Abbreviations used in this table: 
FS = Forest Service 
BLM = Bureau of Land Management 



Source: ICBEMP GIS data (1 km^ raster data). 







Eariy 



IVfid 



Mature & Old 
Multi-Story 



Mature & Old 
Single-Story 



Dry Forest PVG 

Cuxrent/Historical 
Serai Stages 



Moist Forest PVG 

Current/Historical 

Serai Stages 




Eariy 



Mid 



Mature & Old Mature & Old 




Early 



Mid Mature & Old Mature &< 

Multi-Story Single-Story 



Cold Forest PVG 

Current/Historical 
Serai Stages 



H Historical ■ Current 



Figure 2-8. Current/Historical Serai Stages - Dry, Moist, and Cold expressed as a percentage of the Potential 
Vegetation Group (PVG), in the Project Area. 



K&'&v^ ^>h|i4^ ^ i$r«i 



100 

90 

^ 80 

^ 70 

on 

3 60 
« 50 
3 40 



u 



30 

35 20 

10 




t ••-:! 



Early 




Mid 



Mature & Old 
Multi-Story 



Mature & Old 
Single-Story 



Dry Forest PVG 

Current/Historical 
Serai Stages 



Moist Forest PVG 

Current/Historical 
Serai Stages 






Early 



Mid 



Mature & Old 
Multi-Story 



Mature & Old 
Single-Story 



100 

90 

^ 80 

B 60 



C5 

u 

S 
■<-" 
u 
3 
u 

t/3 



50 
40 
30 
20 
10 




Early 



^<c~ 



^1 



Mid 




Mature & Old 
Multi-Story 



Mature & Old 
Single-Story 



Cold Forest PVG 

Current/Historical 
Serai Stages 



Historic (T) S Historic (!) ■ Current (T) D Current (I) 



Figure 2-9. Shade Tolerance (T) vs. Intolerance (I) -for forested lands administered by the Forest Service or BLM, in 
the Project Area. 






Energy Flow ~ Wildlife in the Food Weh 





/T 



^ 



Figure 2-1 0. Energy Flow - Terrestrial Food Chain 

Life on earth depends upon energy, which is supplied by the sun. On land, this energy then flows through 
organisms in a predictable way, call a terrestrial food chain. 

Energy from the sun is trapped by plants (for example, trees, shrubs, and grasses) in a process called 
photosynthesis. This energy then is transferred to animals (for example a herbivore, like a cow, or an omnivore, 
like a bear) that eat plants. Predators are the next step of the food chain, for they often eat animals that eat 
plants. Eventually, organisnis die and the energy that is stored in their bodies is taken up by decomposers. In 
each step of the terrestrial food chain, from the sun to plants, from plants to herbivores, from herbivores to 
predators, and from these organisms to decomposers, some energy is lost as heat. Thus, the amount of useful 
energy, which is the energy available to produce body tissue, decreases. This is why, if we compare the weight, 
or mass, oi plants on the earth, it far exceeds the mass of predators. If humans wish to continue to observe 
grizzly bears in the wild, or graze cattle on rangeland, for example, we need to recognize that energy flow 
through a food chain is necessary for these animals to exist and for us to make a living from them, if we desire. 
How we manage the plants for example, has a bearing on how many cattle we can produce and how many 
grizzly bears we can observe in the wild. 



J 




Map 241. 

Key Linkages in 

Terrestrial Habitats 



100 



100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Ai-ea 
1996 



Upper Montinc Linkage ^*~^ Major Rivers 

Shnilj Steppe Linl<age ^^«^ Major Roads 

^^ EIS Area Border 

•'"'^ Ecological Reporling 
Unit Border* 



"Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 



spotted frog, Howell's spectacular thelypody, 
basalt daisy, and Oregon checkermallowwere 
candidate species. Threatened, endangered, and 
candidate fish species are listed in the Aquatics 
section. Table 2- 12 provides the number of 
terrestrial species that are known or estimated 
to exist in the project area; the number of 
federally listed threatened, endangered, 
candidates and proposed species; and BLM- or 
Forest Service-designated sensitive species. All 
of the listed threatened or endangered species, 
except the gray wolf, have recovery plans or 
strategies approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service. Although a recovery plan has not been 
approved for wolves, there is an EIS for 
reintroduction into Yellowstone Park. No 
reintroduction areas for wolves are identified in 
Washington or Oregon. To date there is no 
confirmed evidence of year-round occupancy by 
grizzly bears in the Northern Cascades (ERU 1) . 
See maps in Appendix 2- 1 for wolf, grizzly bear, 
and caribou recovery areas. 

Populations of bald eagles and peregrine falcons 
have increased to the point that bald eagles were 
recently reclassified from federally endangered to 
threatened in the lower 48 states , and there is a 
proposal to remove peregrine falcons from the list of 
endangered species (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
Notices 1995). In both cases, the primary reason for 
recovery is restriction of pesticides that caused 
eggshell thinning and reproductive failures, but 
habitat improvement and road management has 
also contributed to their increase. 



There are two candidate animal species in the 
planning area- the spotted frog and the bull 
trout. The spotted frog is known to exist in just 
two areas in southern Oregon in ERU 3 (Upper 
Klamath). Not all federal candidate species or 
agency sensitive species are necessarily in 
decline; some species are little-known or 
naturally rare because of habitat rarity. It is 
suspected that no vertebrate species have gone 
extinct throughout their range in the project area 
in recent decades, although it is possible that 
undescribed, locally endemic species or 
subspecies might have vanished before they 
could be studied. 

Habitat Needs for Threatened and 
Endangered Species in the Project Area 

The Northwest Forest Plan set the stage for 
recovery of both the marbled raurrelet and the 
northern spotted owl. The marbled murrelet, a 
federally threatened species, is a small seabird 
that nests in old forests within approximately 55 
miles of the ocean. The distance from the ocean 
for Zone One and Zone Two habitat for the 
marbled murrelet varies by state (California, 
Oregon, and Washington) . The planning area 
contains only Zone Two habitat for the marbled 
murrelet. In Washington state. Zone Two habitat 
is within 30 to 55 miles from the ocean, and in 
the Northern Cascades (ERU 1 ; see Map 2-12). 
Retention of blocks of multi-story, mature, or old 
forests with large trees is important to the 
survival of this species. 



Table 2-12. Numbers and Status of Terrestrial Wildlife Species in the Project Area\ 



Total # of Species FS/BLM 

Known Estimated Threatened Endangered Proposed Candidate Sensitive 



Type 



Invertebrate 


3,780 


24,270 


1 


5 








23 


Amphibian 


26 


26 











1 


11 


Reptile 


27 


27 














9 


Bird 


283 


283 


3 


2 





1 


85 


M animal 


132 


132 


1 


2 





1 


30 



Abbreviations used in this table: 
FS = Forest Service 
BLM = Bureau of Land Management 

' Federally listed, proposed, or candidate species are as of July 1996. Does not include fish. 

Source: Marcotetal. (1996); Sensitive List, see Appendix 2-1. 



M-. — V. 



:_,. : _j 



The northern spotted owl nests in moist forest 
stands of mature and old forest just east of the 
Cascade Crest. Unlike spotted owls west of the 
crest, owls 011 the eastside also use multi-story, 
old and younger second growth stands created 
through timber harvest. These stands have a 
greater dominance of fire-intolerant species, 
suchas grand fir, Douglas-fir, and hemlock 
(Proposed Rules, Lf.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
1 995) . Habitat for the northern spotted owl in the 
planning area occurs from the Canadian border to 
the California border along the eastside of the 
Cascade Range. This area is generally shown in 
Map 1 -3, which shows the overlap of the 
Northwest Forest Plan with the Eastside EIS. Fire 
suppression and timber harvest have created 
these stand conditions, but there is concern that 
they may not be sustainable with the predicted 
fire, insect, and disease regimes of eastside 
forests (Northwest Forest Plan 1993). 

Woodland caribou only inhabit the planning area 
in the extreme northeast corner of Washington 
where two small populations exist (U.S. Fish & 
Wildlife Service Status Report 1995). Woodland 
caribou interact with populations in British 
Columbia and Alberta in Canada. Caribou inhabit 
Engelmann spruce/subalpine fir and western red 
cedar/western hemlock, mature or old forest 
stands. Although woodland caribou populations 
have been stable, there is concern that low 
reproductive success, increasing predation by 
mountain lions, poaching, and harassment from 
snowmobiles and other vehicles could drive 
caribou to extinction (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 
Status Report 1995). 

Although not required to the same degree by all 
of these species, late and old forest structure and 
old forests are important habitats, especially for 
the bald eagle, northern spotted owl, marbled 
murrelet, and woodland caribou. Detailed 
discussions of ecological niches and roles and 
habitat requirements for listed species can be 
found in the appropriate recovery plan or 
reintroduction EIS. 

Peregrine falcons require high cliffs for nesting 
(at least 30 feet in height) where they are secure 
from predators. It is important for peregrines to 
have adequate bird prey populations in areas 
surrounding the cliffs. 

Eastern Oregon and Washington are important 
wintering areas for bald eagles. Wintering eagles 
require large hardwood or conifer trees (over 16 



inches in diameter) near ice-free bodies of water 
that contain fish. Nesting eagles need large trees 
in late successional forests with low levels of 
human disturbance. Nest habitat usually exists 
within one mile of water that supports fish and 
waterfowl. Large, dead trees are used by a 
variety of predatory birds for roosting (U.S. Fish 
& Wildlife Service 1995). 

Rangelands in Forested Areas 
(Transitory Rangelands) 

Rangelands in forested areas are called 
transitory rangelands. These lands are suitable 
for grazing; however, because transitory 
rangeland changes over time, its availability also 
changes. These rangelands are generally 
associated with timber harvest activities which 
open up the tree canopy. Transitory rangeland 
can also be created by major fires or insect and 
disease events. Understory plant species 
suitable for grazing grow well in these newly 
opened areas because there is less competition 
for sunlight and moisture. Transitory rangeland 
is found in dry, moist, and cold forest potential 
vegetation groups. 

A significant portion of annual forage production 
for livestock can come from transitory rangeland, 
particularly in heavily forested areas. Although 
disturbance events that help create transitory 
rangeland allow forage values to increase, these 
values will decrease over time as trees increase and 
the stand reverts to pre-disturbance levels. 
Transitory rangeland areas typically remain 
important foraging areas for approximately 20 years. 

Timber practices that maintain open canopy 
conditions will prolong forage production on 
transitory rangelands. Available forage increases 
are directly related to the amounts and types of 
timber harvest activities. Plant palatability, 
forage quantity, and nutrient content all increase 
as plants are exposed to more moisture and 
sunlight after removal of the forest canopy. 
Usable forage within timber harvest areas can 
decrease in the first few years after harvest 
because of downed trees, debris left following 
harvest, and disturbance to the site from harvest 
and debris removal. Shrubs, forbs, and grasses 
. may require a few years to grow to a point where 
they can be grazed successfully. Livestock may 
be discouraged on some sites until tree 
regeneration is adequate and established. 




50 



Map 242. 
Marbled Murrelet Zones 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



' Zone 1 ^"^ M^jor Rivera 

Zone 2 ^^^ Major Roads 

Water ^^ EIS Area Border 

O Cities and Towns 



Dry Forest 

Potential Vegetation Group 

Table 2-11 lists the various potential vegetation 
types in the dry forest group. 

Current Distribution 

Sixty-nine percent of the dry forest potential 
vegetation group is found above 4,000 feet in 
elevation, and currently makes up 18 percent of 
the project area. Of that percentage, the Forest 
Service and BLM administer 56 percent. Forest 
stands in dry forests are generally limited by low- 
moisture , and are often subject to drought. Dry 
forest areas can also be stressed by limited 
nutrients if surface soils are eroded or displaced, 
or if tree density is high. 

Composition and Structure 

Tree species that make up dry forests are those 
capable of surviving in dry environments, and 
with disturbance processes typical of these 
environments. The historical distribution of 
dominant shade-tolerant and shade-intolerant 
tree species in the dry forest potential vegetation 
group is shown on Map 2- 13; current 
distribution is shown on Map 2- 14. 

Rates of growth are faster for trees that are 
grown out in the open with good root systems. 



but are generally slow for the regeneration and 
old tree stages in dense forest communities. The 
length of time in herb, shrub, and regeneration 
forest stages is generally relatively long, often of 
almost equal length to the young forest stage. 
Shrubs and grasses are usually fairly productive 
in open communities, but relatively 
unproductive in closed communities. 

Ponderosa pine is widely distributed throughout 
dry forests in eastern Oregon and Washington. 
Of the tree-dominated vegetation east of the 
Cascades, only western juniper woodlands occur 
on sites that are warmer and drier than those for 
ponderosa pine communities. Other trees 
associated wath ponderosa pine forests are 
western juniper, quaking aspen, lodgepole pine, 
and Oregon white oak (Johnson, Clausnitzer, 
Mehringer, and Oliver 1994). 

As dry forests transition toward moist forests, 
tree species such as Douglas-fir, grand fir, and 
white fir may become the dominant species. If 
forests have frequent low intensity fires burning 
close to the ground (underburning), fire will thin 
tree stands, and will favor ponderosa pine and 
western larch that are relatively resistant to fire 
damage and grow best in open, well-spaced 
stands (see Figure 2-11). The rapid growth of 
pine and larch allow them to become large 
enough between disturbances to resist low 
intensity fires. Shade-tolerant species are more 
susceptible to damage by fire until they become 



Special Status Species 

Special status species include federally listed threatened or endangered species; federal candidate species; species 
recognized as requiring special protection by state agencies and species managed as sensitive species by the Forest 
Service and /or BLM. 

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, provides a program for the conservation and recovery of 
threatened or endangered species, as well as a means to protect the ecosystems such species depend upon. 
According to tlie U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an endangered species is any species in danger of extinction 
througliout all or a significant portion of its range. A threatened species is any species that is likely to become an 
endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. 

Candidate species are those that may be proposed (as threatened or endangered) and listed in tl-ie future. The 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised its list of candidate species (February 28, 1996 Federal Register). 
Under their new system, only those species for which they have enough information to support a listing proposal 
will be called candidates. 

Other management agencies use additional terminology to identify rare species. The Forest Service and the BLM 
maintain regional lists of sensitive species and species of concern for which there are significant current or 
predicted downward trends in population numbers, density, or habitat capability. Some species are listed due to 
natural conditions which limit numbers and distribution. 



^ 







Map 243. 

Dry Forest Distribution 

Historical 



100 ^^ 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 
MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 






^■'" Shade-tolersnt Tree Species -^^^ Major Rivers 

ESI] Shade-intolerant Tree Species ^^^ Major Roads 

^^^ EIS Area Border 

® Cities and Towns 




Map 244. 

Dry Forest Distribution 

Current 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



Slmde-tolerunt Iree Species ^"^ Major Rivers 

Shade-intolerant Tree Species -''^ Major Roads 

^*^ EIS Area Border 

O Cities and Towns 






large and mature. Therefore, frequent fires 
reduce their presence in forests. In areas with 
longer fire-free intervals, some Douglas-fir, 
grand fir, or white fir grow large enough to resist 
destruction by fire (Keene et al. 1990). The 
amount of Douglas-fir, grand fir, or white fir 
present in stands is generally determined by the 
amount and type of fire that the stand 
experienced throughout its history (Agee 1 994) . 



Quaking aspen Is one of the non- coniferous trees 
associated with the diy forest potential 
vegetation group. Aspen is a deciduous tree 
species which occurs in relatively moist habitats 
within natural openings of forest stands. Non- 
tree vegetation in dry forests is remarkably 
diverse. Shrub and herb species have evolved 
under natural fire regimes, and moderate grazing 
pressure and soil disturbance. Shrubs are 




A. Non lethal Fire Regime 

Open stand pattern. 
Frequent low-severity fires. 




Mixed Fire Regime 

Patches of clumps/gaps. 
Generally a greater time span 
between fires than the non-lethal 
fire regime. 




Lethal Fire Regime 

Large patches of stand-removing 
fire. Generally a longer time span 
between fires than the non-lethal 
fire regime. 



Figure 2-1 1 . Fire Regimes/Patterns 
vegetation patterns. 



Three general Jire regimes create definite landscape 



. '^mKflf^&S^/l'^'^^ 



A!f,^-x . . ' .. s JviP^'^r 



generally widely spaced in the understory 
beneath tree cover, and are fire-tolerant and 
shade-intolerant. Spaces between shrubs is 
generally occupied by fire-tolerant and shade- 
intolerant grasses and forbs. 

The dry forest potential vegetation group 
frequently shares lower elevation edges with 
grasslands, which form alternating vegetative 
patterns interspersed with tree-dominated 
stands. Between grassland and tree-dominated 
patches, shrubs may be dense. Shrub species in 
this ecotone (transitional zone between adjacent 
plant communities) include: snowbrush, mallow 
ninebaxk, common snowberry, antelope 
bitterbrush, and kinnikinnik. Herbaceous 
species throughout dry forests include: elk 
sedge, Wheeler's bluegrass, cat's ear, mariposa 
lily, harsh paintbrush, silky lupine, and few- 
flowered pea. 

Historical Conditions 

When European settlement of the area began, 
ponderosa pine forests could be characterized as 
unbroken parklands of widely spaced tree 
clumps with a continuous understory of grasses 
and flowering plants. Ponderosa pine forests 
were fairly stable, maintained by frequent, low 
intensity fires. Regeneration of young trees in 
areas created where trees were attacked by bark 
beetles or where fire climbed into the crowns of 
trees infected by dwarf mistletoe, was usually in 
small groups of the same age. The resulting 
small stands were thinned by frequent fires 
(Agee 1994). 

In dry forests, mortality of small trees from fire. 
Insects, disease, and competition among trees 
was common prior to widespread fire 
suppression. Old forests of large trees with one 
canopy layer were typically found in more gentle 
terrain or rocky areas. Young forest patches, 
resulting from crown fires, were typically found 
in steep areas where topographical effects on fire 
behavior increased fire intensities. Poor site 
productivity also prevented trees from reaching a 
survivable height between fire intervals. Fire 
intervals in dry forests prior to suppression 
typically ranged from 5 to 50 years (Agee 1993). 
In general, these fires typically consisted of 80 
percent non-lethal surface fires, 5 percent mixed 
fires, and 15 percent lethal crown fires. 

The fire season for diy forests is relatively long, 
generally from June through September. 






Historically, fires were usually geographically 
large because of the availability of long- needled 
pine litter and dried grasses on the forest floor, 
which created a continuous source of fuel on the 
soil surface (Agee 1994). The actual extent of 
these fires is hard to determine because the 
thick bark of ponderosa pine and larch do not 
always show fire scars that document historical 
fires (Bork 1985). 

The understory of stands prior to fire 
suppression was dominated by grasses and 
flowering plants, which would generally recover 
quickly after low-intensity fires. Many shrubs in 
dry forests were adapted to frequent fire by 
either sprouting afterburning, or regenerating 
from fire-stimulated seed (Kauffman and Martin 
1984, 1985, and 1991 in Agee 1994). 

Lodgepole pine forests developed in areas where 
local climatic and physical situations limited the 
ability of other tree species to either regenerate 
successfully, or obtain a competitive advantage 
over lodgepole pine. Disturbance was fairly 
constant in lodgepole pine forests. Some stands 
were burned in crown fire events, but such fires 
appear to have been limited in extent. Fires that 
maintained a patchy structure due to the uneven 
distribution of fuels were most common. The 
landscape pattern was probably stable over time; 
however, occasional (50 to 100 years) region- 
wide decreases in lodgepole pine forests 
occurred as a result of widespread mountain 
pine beetle attacks (Agee 1994). 

Interactions between fire and other disturbances 
were common historically. Insect outbreaks 
were common after a fire if the severity resulted 
in substantial scorch of the tree's crown or tree 
trunk (Agee 1994). Increased fuel loadings in 
lodgepole pine stands following mountain pine 
beetle epidemics would result in increased fire 
intensities and severities. Although little decay 
is generally associated with fire scars in 
ponderosa pine, insects and diseases often enter 
through fire scars and cause severe impacts to 
fir species. Fire historically reduced dwarf 
mistletoe infection bypruning dead brEmches and 
consuming individual tree crowns that had low- 
hanging bushy limbs created by the infection 
(Harrington and Hawksworth 1990; Koonce and 
Roth 1980; Agee 1994). 



Current Conditions and Trends: 
Departures in Composition, 
Structure, and Disturbance Processes 
and Patterns 

There has only been a one percent loss of the dry 
forest potential vegetation group in the project 
area from historical to current times, mostly 
because of a shift to agricultural and urban uses 
on lands not administered by the Forest Service 
or BLM [Landscape Dynamics[Rann et al. 1996] 
chapter of the Assessment o/Ecosystem 
Components). However, the composition, 
structure, and disturbance patterns in dry 
forests have changed significantly. Human 
intervention has brought about these changes 
through a combination of timber harvesting, fire 
suppression, and/or livestock grazing. Human- 
caused disturbances have been more 
pronounced in the dry forest potential vegetation 
group than in moist or cold forests. This is 
partly because dry forests are more accessible to 
housing developments, logging, and livestock 
grazing. Dry forests also contain tree species 
historically favored by the timber market 
(Everett et al. 1994). 

Fire Regimes 

Historically, dry forests had shorter intervals 
between fires so the disruption of natural fires 
through fire suppression has changed dry forest 
structure and composition more than that of 
moist or cold forests. Since the application of 
fire suppression, a lack of thinning fires has 
contributed to the higher density of small 
diameter Douglas-fir, grand fir, and white fir that 
exists currently. Effects from fire suppression 
have been greatest in the most heavily roaded 
areas where it has been most successful. 

Lack of frequent, non-lethal underburns has 
resulted in an increase in fuel loading, duff 
depth, stand density, and a fuel ladder that can 
carry fire from the surface into the tree crowns. 
Stands that are more densely stocked with trees 
provide increased shade, and reduce wind 
speeds within stands. Levels of carbon and 
nutrients tied up in woody material (see Figure 2-4) 
are higher than they were historically. Fuel 
moisture is greater in dense stands, particularly 
in small diameter fuels, because increased 
shading and reduced wind speed decrease the 
drying rate of forest fuels. Total available fuel 
has generally increased everywhere in dry 
forests because of the absence of frequent fires. 



However, within dense stands, the rate of fuel 
Increase is greater because more dead woody 
material is available. 

As a stand transitions from an open park-like, 
single-canopied structure to a dense, multi- 
storied structure, expected fire behavior also 
changes. Generally, a fire occurring in a dense 
stand will not spread (move across the 
landscape) as fast as in an open stand because 
fuels are more moist and wind speeds are 
reduced. However, when weather conditions 
become hot and dry, dense forest stands will 
burn at greater intensities than open stands. So 
the non-lethal, frequent fire regime of open, 
single-canopied stands is converted to a fire 
regime with moderate to high severity and low 
frequency in dense, multi-storied stands (Agee 
1994; see Table 2-11). Map 2-15 shows the 
historical fire regime and Map 2-16 shows the 
current fire regime on Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands in the project area. 

The increase in fire intervals, without equivalent 
fuel reductions, has resulted in much higher fuel 
loads, fireline intensities, and fuel consumption 
when fires do occur. This causes much higher 
mortality of the dominant overstoiy, as well as 
higher potential for soil heating and death of tree 
roots and other understory plants. Development 
of residential areas and other cultural facilities 
in forests of the project area has been most 
common in this potential vegetation group, which, 
coupled with the changed fire regime, hascaused 
a greatly increased risk to life and property. 

Human Disturbance 

In general, all forests which show the most 
change from their historical condition are those 
that have been roaded and harvested. Large 
trees of high-value species, such as ponderosa 
pine, were selectively logged. True firs, Douglas- 
fir, and lodgepole pine were left in stands 
because either these species were not desirable 
on the timber market, or they were smaller trees 
and could not be processed efficiently. The 
remaining trees, which were not always the best 
genetic stock, provided seeds for the next 
generation of forest. Suppression of fires and 
availability of seeds allowed shade-tolerant trees 
to replace open, park-like stands with dense 
stands of trees (overstocking). These dense 
stands did not receive the thinning treatment 
that frequent fires produce, resulting in 
competition for sunlight and nutrients; this is 
now reflected in changes in forest health. 



Changes include a loss of growth potential due to 
overstocking, greater risk of severe insect and 
disease problems, greater risk of high severity 
fires, and a loss of habitat diversity when 
compared to historical conditions. Currently, 30 
percent of stands within dry forests are dominated 
by shade-tolerant species, or more than twice the 
amount that existed in the early 1800s. 

Livestock grazing in some cases has reduced the 
amount of grass and other vegetation that 
provide continuous fuel for the spread of surface 
fires. Therefore, fires that would have thinned 
young trees and favored shade-intolerant species 
were reduced to much smaller fires. As a result, 
forest understories became more densely 
stocked with a higher proportion of shade- 
tolerant species. 

There are currently as many young tree stands 
as there were historically. However, these types 
of stands are most often created by harvesting, 
and are missing the scattered large live and dead 
trees that would have been present if a fire had 
initiated the stand. Ponderosa pine has been 
replaced by grand fir and white fir on 1 9 percent 
of its range, and by interior Douglas-fir on 
another 20 percent of its range. Western larch 
stands have been replaced by Douglas-fir ( 1 6 
percent) , lodgepole pine ( 1 2 percent) , and grand 
fir or white fir ( 1 percent) . 

In the past 100 years, fires have become less 
frequent and more intense (Agee 1993, Gast et 
al. 1991iaLehmkuhletal. 1994). The clumpy 
character of historical stands created by fire has 
changed. Timber harvest, especially clearcut 
logging, has created larger stands, with more 
uniformity within stands and more contrast 
between stands. Overall, stand structures 
changed from open park-like stands of large 
trees with clumps of small trees, to dense 
overstocked young stands with several canopy 
layers (Caraher et al. 1992, Gast et al. 1991 in 
Lehmkuhletal. 1994). 

The dry forest potential vegetation group is 
particularly vulnerable to the introduction of 
exotic species and noxious weeds. Noxious 
weeds, such as knapweed, may rapidly displace 
native species. 

Insects and Disease 

The insect and disease relationship as it relates 
to forest health in dry forests has changed as 
forest structure has changed. Insects and 



diseases always existed in forests, but the size 
and intensity of their attacks has increased in 
recentyears (Caraher etal. 1992, Gast etal. 
1991 in Lehmkuhletal. 1994). With the 
exclusion of fire, stand densities are often much 
greater, and species composition has changed to 
dominance by trees such as Douglas-fir, grand 
fir, and white fir. The younger forest structure 
or multi- storied structure comprised of a high 
proportion of shade-intolerant species is highly 
susceptible to large-scale infestations of needle- 
eating insects, such as the western spruce 
budworm or Douglas-fir tussock moth. These 
insects have been active in all ecological 
reporting units in the project area, especially in 
the Southern Cascades and Columbia Plateau 
(ERUs 2 and 5). Overstocked stands result in 
moisture stress in the normal summer drought 
period, and make stands highly susceptible to 
bark beetles. Currently bark beetles often 
replace fire by eliminating trees growing in 
excess of site potential. 

Susceptibility to the Douglas-fir beetle has 
increased significantly in the Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6) , and declined in the Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) compared to historical conditions. This 
was attributed to increased (1) spread of shade- 
tolerant Douglas-fir, (2) abundance of host trees 
of adequate size for successful bark beetle 
breeding, (3) patch densities and layering of 
canopies, and (4) area susceptible to the 
Douglas-fir beetle. In the Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) , lodgepole pine forests were recently 
hosts to mountain pine beetle attacks. Areas 
susceptible to spruce beetle declined 
significantly in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6) . This 
is especially noteworthy because beetle 
outbreaks during the last decade reduced 
spruce stands in valley bottoms and on benches 
that were once common in the Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6). Spruce beetle activity appears to be 
correlated with the drought of the last eight to 
nine years. 

Areas susceptible to Douglas-fir dwarf mistletoe 
increased significantly in the Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6) , and declined in the Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) . Increasing susceptibility was 
associated with increased abundance of Douglas- 
fir, increasedcanopy layering, and Douglas-fir 
encroachment on dry and relatively moist sites that 
historically had frequent understory fires. Areas 
susceptible to ponderosa pine dwarf mistletoe 
decreased with declining area in the ponderosa 
pine cover type in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6), 
Northern Cascades (ERU 1), and Northern 







Map 2-15. 

Fire Regime Severity 

Historical 



50 100 150 kir 



BLM and Forest Seiyice 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
"1996 



' Nonlcthd! '^"~^ Major Riven 
E^^ Mixed -^^^ Major Roads 

Letlial ^"^ EIS Area Border 







Map 2-16. 

Fire Regime Severity 

Current 



50 100 150 km 



BLM and Forest Seiyice 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



Nonlethal ^'^ Major Rivers 
■^^ Mixed ^"V- Major Roads 

^—1 Lethal '"^ £75 Area Border 



Project Area 
1996 



Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) . Areas susceptible to 
western larch dwarf mistletoe decreased because 
the western larch cover type in the Northern 
Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) also decreased. 

An additional forest health concern is that, wltli few 
exceptions, areas susceptible to Armillaria root 
disease, laminated root rot, and S-group armosum 
root disease increased across the project area. 
Areas susceptible to Armillaria root disease 
increased significantly in the Columbia Plateau 
(ERU 5) , Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7] , 
and Southern Cascades (ERU 2) . Areas 
susceptible to S-group annosum root disease 
increased in the Columbia Plateau (ERU 5], 
Northern Cascades (ERU 1), and Northern 
Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) . Increases in 
susceptibility to root diseases are associated with 
effective fire suppression, the selective harvest of 
shade-intolerant species, and the spread of 
Douglas-fir and true firs in dense, multi-story 
airangements. Historically, fires not only favored 
the regeneration and release of shade-intolerant 
species by providing large openings and bare 
mineral soil, but they minimized fuel loads and 
effectively thinned from below, favoring lower tree 
densities and drought and disease tolerance. 

The increasing number of dead trees due to 
attacks by insects and diseases makes forests even 
more susceptible to large, high-intensity fires. The 
stands that are most susceptible to moisture 
stress, insects, and disease tend to be those at the 
lowest elevations, which typically border private, 
state, tribal, or other land ownerships. Homes; 
private, tribal, and state forest resources; wildlife 
winter ranges; and other important resources are 
increasingly at risk from fire and insect and 
disease attack from lands administered by the 
BLM or Forest Service (Everett et al. 1994). 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats 
in Dry Forests 

Unless othei'wise noted, information in this 
section was derived from the Terrestrial Ecology 
(Marcotetal. 1996) chapter of the Assessment o/ 
Ecosystem Components. 

Animals that evolved in dry forest environments 
adapted to changes brought on by frequent 
natural disturbances. They did so by shifting 
within the environment, using the mosaic of 
habitats and microsites (small habitat areas) 
created by fires and other events (Collopy and 
Smith 1995). 



Invertebrates 

The variety of tree species in dry forests has 
been relatively low and patch sizes were 
historically large, allowing invertebrates to 
distribute across abroad area. Insects, in 
concert with drought and fire, sometimes play an 
important role in shaping stand structure. 
Invertebrates use a variety of habitat patches 
and microsites in forests that appear uniform. 
Tree canopies, downed wood material, snags, 
flowers, forest floor litter, and soils are important 
habitats for invertebrates. These varied physical 
factors are considered key environmental 
correlates in the Assessment. Even after fires, 
islands of unburned trees and litter, and large 
trees with thick bark provide places for insects 
and other invertebrates to survive and recolonize 
the area. Invertebrates perform vital functions in 
the forest by decomposing wood and litter that 
return nutrients to the energy cycle, and by 
serving as food for all other groups of animals. 
These considerations are classified as key 
ecological functions in the Assessment. Other 
important key ecological functions of 
invertebrates include turning over soil and 
increasing its productivity, pollinating flowers, 
and dispersing seeds. 

Amphibians 

Many salamanders and frogs use downed wood, 
talus, and trees, but riparian area and wetland 
habitats within dry forests are key environmental 
correlates for amphibians. Although the Species 
Environmental Relationship Model (SER Model) 
for eastern Oregon and Washington contains 
seven frog, two toad, one newt, and five 
salamander species known to inhabit the dry 
forest potential vegetation group, many of these 
are local endemics (unique to a given area) , and 
are more common west of the Cascade Range. 
Key ecological functions of amphibians include 
helping control insects, turning over soils, 
creating burrows for other species, and as 
indicators of water quality and quantity. 

Reptiles 

Reptile distribution is influenced more by climate 
and terrain than by vegetation type or structure. 
There are two turtles, four lizards, one skink, and 
ten snakes recorded in the planning area, none of 
which are unique to eastern Oregon and 
Washington (endemic) . Most reptiles are restricted 
to open areas and lowlands because colder 
temperatures, and shading, limit their ability to 






regulate body temperature. The mountain 
kingsnake is more common in California, but also 
occurs in dry forests in the Upper Klamath Basin 
(ERU 3), with sporadic distribution (Collopy and 
Smith 1995). Key ecological functions of reptiles 
include helping control rodents and insects, 
providing food for birds and mammals , and 
providing burrows for other animals. 

Birds 

Birds use all the structural stages of dry 
forests, from young stands and brushy 
openings to old forests and dead trees and 
downed logs. The presence of riparian 
vegetation within the forest brings in additional 
bird species, such as ducks and shore birds, 
including some that stop only during migration 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). The SER Model lists 
118 bird species that use at least some 
aspects of dry forests. Federally listed species 
that use diy forests in the planning area 
include the threatened northern spotted owl, 
marbled murrelet, and bald eagle, all of which 
need large trees and old forests. The 
endangered peregrine falcon uses cliff habitat 
to nest while it preys on birds in open stands 
in dry forests. 

At least nine species of woodpeckers rely on 
dead trees to excavate nesting holes. A key 
ecological function of woodpeckers is excavating 
holes for many other birds and mammals that 
need holes to nest, but cannot excavate their 
own. Different species of woodpeckers select 
different habitats, some using trees over 16 
inches in diameter, some using smaller trees, 
and others needing clumps of dead trees or trees 
of different heights. Woodpeckers, and other 
birds and bats that use woodpecker holes, 
control Insect outbreaks and watch for birds. 

Birds with large wingspans, such as some 
hawks, eagles, and owls, hunt for food in 
openings or in open stands of trees. The tight 
spacing of trees in dense stands makes it 
difficult for them to fly between trees, limiting 
their ability to central populations of some prey 
species. Goshawks require large trees in older 
stands of mixed conifers, pine, or Douglas-fir to 
nest, and also need mixed old and young forest 
structures, and water in areas surrounding the 
nest for feeding and fledging of young birds 
(Thomas 1979, SchommerandSilivsky 1994). 



Mammals 

The SER Model lists 70 species of mammals 
known to in habit dry forests of the project area. 
Mammals use a wide variety of habitats, 
including burrows; litter; downed logs; rock 
outcrops; forest openings; young forests with or 
without shrubs; and middle, late, and old forests. 
Many squirrels, mice, woodrats, and other 
species rely on seeds from trees, especially large 
ponderosa pine seeds. Mule deer and elk forage, 
rest, and hide in tree or brush stands, but dense 
stands of trees often have too much shade to 
provide shrubs, grass, and forbs for food (Lyon et 
al. 1995). Desert and mountain bighorn sheep 
avoid dense stands of trees or shrubs where food 
(grass and forbs) is limited, sight distances are 
short, and they are more vulnerable to predators. 
Some chipmunks and other small mammals use 
young and dense stands because they prefer the 
Jumble of small logs and canopy cover that 
protects them from predators. 

Twelve species of bats in the project area use 
thick barked trees, especially large ponderosa 
pine or western larch, for roosting. Old 
buildings, bridges, caves, mines, tree cavities, 
and other small openings are also used by bats. 
Bats prey on a variety of Insects and help control 
insect outbreaks in dry forests. 

Effects of Vegetation Changes on 
Terrestrial Species, Habitats, and 
Functions 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section was derived from the Terrestrial Ecology 
[Marcot et al. 1996] chapter of theAEC. 

Over time, species associated with the dry forest 
potential vegetation group have undergone the 
greatest change in habitat conditions. Habitat 
that was once large areas of pine and larch 
forests are now much smaller, making it more 
difficult for animals to move to other patches of 
similar habitat (Collopy and Smith 1995, Everett 
etal. 1994). 

Fragmentation and loss of connection to similar 
habitat means that some animals have to travel 
farther to find suitable habitat. Some animals 
are limited in how far they can travel, and those 
that travel are more vulnerable to predators, 
traffic, and other hazards. Fragmentation has 
increased isolation of different species 









populations and limited genetic interchange 
among populations. Many areas were identified 
in the Terrestrial Ecology (Marcot et al. 1996) 
chapter of theAEC as maintaining several 
species with very limited distribution (narrow 
endemics). These species are especially 
vulnerable to local disturbance events that can 
endanger an entire population or species. The 
Columbia River Gorge is one example of an area 
with many rare; endemic species, some of which 
rely on dry forest habitat (see Map 2-8). The 
Gorge also provides barriers to colonization, 
repopulation, and emigration in the form of 
divided highways (east to west) and two railroad 
lines on both sides of the river, and a major 
waterway transportation system. 

Factors most affecting wildlife have been the 
reduction in ponderosa pine and western larch; 
reduction of mature and old forest stages, 
especially open, single-storied stands; and loss of 
large trees. There has also been a decline in 
large snags and downed logs, especially where 
firewood gathering and salvage logging has 
occurred. The diversity of habitat created by 
mosaic fire patterns is rarely present in more 
uniform logging units of unburned stands. 
Increased density of dry forest stands in all 
structural stages has limited the light, moisture, 
and nutrients available to understoiy plants and 
animals. Dense stands slow forests' ability to 
produce large trees and snags for future habitat 
(Landscape Dyn.amics[Hannetal. 1996] chapterof 
theAEC, Collopy and Smith 1995, Henjum 1994]). 

General 

Animals most vulnerable to changes in habitat 
are those that depend on a narrow range of 
habitats, and those that are not very mobile. 
Mobile species that use a variety of habitats, can 
move into other habitat types or patches when 
disturbance occurs. Coyotes, deer mice, robins, 
big brown bats, black widow spiders, and house 
wrens have all adapted to unique habitats 
created in people's backyards where diy forests 
often once stood. Changes in disturbance 
patterns and newly-created habitats have allowed 
exotic species, such as spotted knapweed, musk 
thistle, starlings, and bull frogs to invade dry 
forests and compete with native species. 
Logging, road construction, seeding of exotic 
grasses and forbs, and other disturbances often 
create opportunities for domestic livestock to 
graze in forested habitats, which may further 
spread exotic species and compete with native 
wildlife for forage. 



Birds 

The decline in open, single-storied mature pine 
and larch stands has reduced habitat for the 
olive-sided flycatcher and Lewis's woodpecker, 
both of which have shown significant declines in 
the past 25 years (Saab 1995). The Townsend's 
big-eared bat, California myotis bat, and fringed 
myotis have been impacted by the loss of large 
trees for roosting. These species help control 
insect populations which in turn influence tree 
survival. The Terrestrial Ecology (Marcot et al. 
1996) chapter of the AEC concluded that 1 tree 
bole feeder, 5 bark beetles, and 22 defoliating 
insects can alter plant succession, and create 
new vegetation patterns. The decline in insect- 
eating birds and bats due to the change in forest 
structure can affect structure, energy flow, 
nutrient cycling, and soil productivity of future 
forests. Therefore, the key environmental 
correlates and key ecological functions (listed 
under the Terrestrial Wildlife Species section 
earlier in this chapter) and Habitats for these 
species are directly affected. 

The decline in large trees impacts the nesting 
and roosting habitat for birds. Bird surveys 
indicate a decline in nesting sites and foraging 
areas for goshawks, Vaux's swift, pileated 
woodpecker, white headed woodpecker, red- 
tailed hawk, and flammulated owls (Collopy and 
Smith 1995). Several species, such as the 
northern flicker, tree swallow, violet-green 
swallow, house wren, and mountain bluebird, 
that use medium to small dead trees, show 
increasing population trends. This correlates 
with the recent increase in insect and disease 
outbreaks and fires in densely-stocked stands 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). 

Invertebrates 

Dense stocking of stands has reduced the 
amount of light reaching the forest floor, thus 
reducing understory vegetation, temperature, 
and the decomposition rate and nature of woody 
debris for invertebrates. Within burned areas, 
mosaic patterns of habitat and unburned islands 
of vegetation have decreased. This limits the 
distribution of less mobile species of 
invertebrates, such as snails, and may limit 
recolonization of disturbed areas with 
invertebrate species. 

Increased compaction and soil displacement 
during logging, grazing, and other activities have 
reduced habitat effectiveness for some soil 



invertebrates, such as earthworms, nematodes, 
and bacteria, and may influence long-term site 
productivity. Many unique, and some rare or 
endemic species (species with very limited 
distribution) of invertebrates depend upon talus, 
caves, bogs, springs, gravel, and other forest 
habitat features that fall within the key 
environmiental correlates. 

Amphibians 

Many salamander and frog populations are 
vulnerable to changes or reductions in available 
riparian habitats brought on by logging and 
grazing, predation by exotic fish and exotic bull 
frogs, changes in invertebrate populations, and 
potential climate changes. The tiger salamander, 
which only lives east of the Cascades, is used as 
live bait and has shown an increase in 
distribution, probably due to release during 
fishing. The western toad is declining in some 
parts of its range as a result of dam and spring 
developments in streams and seeps. 

Reptiles 

Reptiles are highly susceptible to changes in 
climate and microsites, especially in forested 
ecosystems, at the upper elevational end of their 
range. Downed logs, talus, and rocks are 
important habitat features that have been altered 
in some locations. Changes in populations of 
invertebrates and small mammals limits prey for 
reptiles. The increased stocking density of dry 
forest stands provides more shade , which may be 
reducing reptile habitat effectiveness. Reptiles 
help control rodent and insect populations, on 
and below the ground surface, and are indicators 
of climate and microsite changes. 

Mammals 

Some mammals, such as the pocket gopher, 
porcupine, and mountain beaver, have benefitted 
from clearcut logging and plantations. As these 
species increased, carnivores that help control 
them, such as the fisher, marten, mink, and 
goshawk, decreased due to trapping, predator 
control, and habitat changes. As a consequence, 
animal-related tree damage in tree plantations 
has increased. Conversion of open stands of 
pines and larch to densely stocked, mixed 
species forests has benefited some squirrels, but 
the loss of understory vegetation and habitat 
mosaics may be adversely affecting other 
species, such as the mountain cottontail, pygmy 
shrew, and Belding's ground squirrel. Forest 



fragmentation and degradation of oak woodlands 
has reduced continuity of the tree canopy and is 
causing a decline in western gray squirrels 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). These smafl forest 
mammals provide important food for hawks, 
owls, eagles, and other carnivores, and help 
transport and plant seeds. 

Historical accounts are not conclusive, but it 
appears that elk and white-tailed deer 
populations in the dry forest potential vegetation 
group are higher now than they were before 
European settlement. Elk and white-tailed deer 
have expanded their ranges in recent times, 
causing animal damage problems in rural and 
agricultural areas on private lands. In some 
forest settings, elk and deer are using dense 
stands of shade-tolerant understory trees for 
cover, which they would not have used as 
extensively under natural fire regimes. This 
cover, plus added forage available from 
clearcutting, may not be sustainable. The 
density of open, useable roads is high in the dry 
forest potential vegetation group, due to the 
gentler terrain, emphasis on timber harvest, and 
proximity to human habitation. People using 
roads are the single biggest threat to big game 
populations, making them vulnerable to 
poaching, stress, hunting, accidents, and 
displacement (Christensen 1993). The potential 
decline in created habitat for deer and elk, 
combined with high road densities, may mean 
fewer animals available in the near future for 
social and economic benefits. 

Bighorn sheep are also popular for hunting and 
viewing. While some populations are maintaining 
current numbers, other populations are 
generally declining due to widespread habitat 
changes, such as replacement of grass, forbs, 
and low shrubs with tall shrubs and trees, which 
bighorns avoid. Fire suppression and livestock 
grazing contribute importantly to these changes 
(Lyonetal. 1995). 

Moist Forest 

Potential Vegetation Group 

Current Distribution 

The moist forest potential vegetation group 
includes transitional areas between drier, lower 
elevation forests or woodland types in dry 
forests, and higher elevation subalpine forest 
types in cold forests (Agee 1994). The majority of 
moist forests in the planning area occur in the 



Northern Cascades (ERU 1), Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2) , and Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) . 
Approximately 40 percent of the moist forest 
potential vegetation group in the project area 
occurs at elevations less than 4,000 feet, and the 
remainder occurs above that. Moist forests 
cover approximately 18 percent of the project 
area; 64 percent of that is administered by either 
the Forest Service or BLM. 

Moist forests typically have relatively high soil 
moisture in the spring and early summer, 
followed by drought stress in the late summer 
and early fall. In addition to drought stress, 
available nutrients in the soil can limit 
productivity, especially if the decomposition of 
dead wood and litter is slow. Tree growth rates 
are generally rapid, and young forests develop 
relatively quickly into mid-seral structures. 

Composition and Structure 

Shade-intolerant species, which dominate 70 to 
80 percent of moist forest stands, include 
western white pine, western larch, lodgepole 
pine, interior ponderosa pine, and sometimes 
interior Douglas-fir. The dominant shade- 
tolerant species include Engelmann spruce, 
subalpine fir, grand fir, white fir, interior 
Douglas-fir, mountain hemlock, and Pacific silver 
fir. See Maps 2-17 and 2-18 for a representation 
of both historical and current shade-tolerant and 
shade-intolerant tree species distribution. 

Typically in both young and old, healthy moist 
forests, single-layer forests are dominated by 
shade-intolerant species. Occasionally, there are 
long periods (50 to 150 years) between fires 
where shade-intolerant species shift to shade- 
tolerant species, because young trees growing in 
the shade of mature trees are not thinned by fire. 
Old multi-story stands often have a mix of shade- 
tolerant and shade-intolerant species, depending 
on the fire history of the stand. 

The adequate moisture levels, moderate climate, 
and presence of soils derived from volcanic ash 
often make moist forests ideal for tree growth 
and productivity. Stands within the moist forest 
potential vegetation group that do not have 
intense fires are composed of four dominant tree 
species: Douglas-fir, grand fir, western hemlock, 
and white fir. Grand fir is the most common 
species. These stands typically have more 
variety in tree species than the dry forest 
potential vegetation group. Stands that undergo 
intense fires, or other disturbances that open up 



the stand to sunlight, are dominated by lodgepole 
pine, western larch, Douglas-fir, and ponderosa 
pine (Johnson etal. 1994). 

As in dry forests, quaking aspen can be found in 
the moist forest potential vegetation group. 
Other vegetation in moist forests is highly 
diverse. Shrub and herbaceous understories 
have evolved under more limited light and lower 
fire frequencies than in dry forests. Shrub 
species in moist forests include: Oregon 
boxwood, big huckleberry, oceanspray, baldhip 
rose, streambank gooseberry, prince's pine, and 
American twinflower. Herbaceous species are 
characterized by shade-tolerant species, 
including: queencup beadlily, mountain lady's 
slipper orchid, heart-leaved arnica, wild ginger, 
sword fern, white trillium, and pioneer violet. 
Grasses include: pinegrass, Columbia brome, 
and tufted hairgrass. One sedge species, Ross' 
sedge, appears to be widely distributed in moist 
forests across the project area. 

Historical Conditions 

Historically, native fire patterns and intensities 
within the moist forest potential vegetation group 
were variable. Lx)w intensity fires on the forest 
floor occurred at relatively frequent intervals ( 1 5 
to 25 years) on benches and ridges. These fires 
typically did not kill mature trees (non-lethal 
fires), but did thin out young trees, especially 
the more susceptible shade-tolerant species and 
small trees. Fires that burned with enough 
intensity to kill overstory trees (lethal fires), 
varied from every 20 to 150 years, generally in 
upland slope environments. In this situation, 
some stands were unlikely to mature beyond a 
young forest stage between fires. The mixed fire 
regime, with a combination of low and high 
intensity fires at different levels in the canopy, 
occurred at highly variable intervals, but 
averaged between 20 to 300 years. The fire 
season generally started in July and lasted into 
September. Fires were usually very small, but 
some became quite large. Non-lethal fires 
occurred in approximately 25 percent of moist 
forests, lethal fires in 25 percent, and mixed fires 
in 40 to 45 percent. 

Grand fir forests in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6) 
had a wider range of historical fire types than 
Douglas-fir forests. Ponderosa pine and western 
larch, and to some extent Douglas-fir, were 
historically more dominant than grand fir on drier 
sites. No information is available on landscape 
fire patterns in these forest types, but in other 






mixed-conifer locations, clumping of single 
species, such as one group of ponderosapine 
and another of fir, tended to occur (Agee 1994). 

In the cooler grand fir forests, intervals between 
fires were longer, and natural fires were of 
moderate severity. Fires that killed most trees 
and initiated growth of a new stand were more 
common than on drier sites. When fire created 
an opening in the forest canopy, the ground 
received more sunshine, and shade-intolerant 
species were favored in the young stands. 
Lodgepole pine and western larch became 
dominant following a fire as they out-competed 
Douglas-fir and grand fir (Agee 1994). 

Douglas-fir is dominant on sites that are wetter 
than ponderosa pine sites, yet drier than grand 
fir or subalpine fir sites. Tree species that may 
precede Douglas-fir on a site are ponderosa pine, 
western larch, and lodgepole pine (Johnson et al. 
1994). When the interval between fires was 
short (less than 20 years) , Douglas-fir was 
essentially absent from the landscape because 
small Douglas-fir trees were easily killed by fire. 
With longer intervals between fires, Douglas-fir 
became co-dominant with ponderosa pine and 
larch (Agee 1 994) . In historical eastside white fir 
forests, white fir was at most co-dominant because 
frequent fires selectively removed young fir trees. 

Forests dominated by western hemlock are rare 
in eastern Oregon and Washington. Older forests 
are most prevalent, indicating long intervals 
between fires. Western hemlock tends to grow 
on moist benches, ravines, and river valleys that 
are more resistant to fire, and intermingled with 
patches of drier forest that burned (Agee 1994). 

Insects and Disease 

Historical insect and disease disturbances were 
similar to those discussed in the dry forest 
potential vegetation group, with the addition of 
white pine blister rust. White pine blister rust is 
an introduced disease that was not present in 
the past. 

Historically, moist forest structure was fairly 
dynamic. Early- serai forest structure comprised 
20 to 30 percent of moist forests in the project 
area. Young (mid-seral) forests generally made 
up from 40 to 50 percent of the moist forest 
potential vegetation group, and were typically 
cycled back to early-seral structural stages by 
lethal fire events (see Figure 2-7). Old forest 
made up between 20 and 30 percent of moist 



forests in the project area. In many cases, low 
intensity ground fires, or mixes of low and high 
intensity fires, maintained the young forest stage 
or moved it toward single-story, mature, or old 
forests. Creeping, low intensity fires maintained 
multi-storied, old forests in cool, moist bottoms 
where fires created small openings that filled 
with young trees. 

Current Conditions and Trends: 
Departures in Composition, 
Structure, and Disturbance Processes 
and Patterns 

Fire Regimes 

There has been a 0.5 percent change in the 
distribution of moist forests from historical to 
current times. The interval between intense fires 
was longer in moist forests (100+ years) than dry 
forests, so the effects of fire suppression on forest 
structure and composition are not as obvious in 
moist forests. However, the effective exclusion of 
almost all non-lethal underburns and a reduction 
of mixed severity fires has resulted in the 
development of dense, multi-layered stands with 
a high potential for stand-replacing fires. These 
highly productive forests have increased 
amounts of carbon and nutrients stored in woody 
material, resulting in fires that are of higher 
intensity and severity. Even where fires do not 
crown, dominant trees can be killed by the 
consumption of large diameter surface fuels and 
duff layers. The potential for significant amounts 
of soil heating and the death of tree roots and other 
understoiy plants is much higher than it was 
historically. (SeeTable2-10.) 

Major changes to the moist forest potential 
vegetation group include the network of roads 
and timber harvest units across the landscape, 
increased stand density, increased dominance by 
shade-tolerant species, rapid decline in western 
white pine due to introduced blister rust, 
reductions in early-seral and old forest stands, 
and increases in young, mid-seral stands. 

Human Disturbance 

In general, moist forests identified with forest 
health problems are in areas already roaded and 
hai-vested. Clearcuts or partial cuts where 
western larch, western white pine, and 
ponderosa pine were hai-vested have had changes 
in stand structure and composition. The 
resulting stands have few of the large dead or 






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100 "'"es 



Map 247. 

Moist Forest Distribution 

Historical 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 




Shade-tolerant Tree Species ''""•^ Major Rivers 

Shade-intolerant Tree Species <*^^ Major Roads 

^^ F.IS Area Border 

® Cities and Towns 



■ <*y4oWift;;r«'^;i?.S^^^K; 




Map 248. 

Moist Forest Distribution 

Current 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROIECT 



Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



Ki'A, ■■••••■■•■• -: 



tl}^^4'^ '^'^'hV,^^. 



a'isnjjji**,^?*^ «^5%^u^^^-% *j^ %^^^SJS^g135M<w^^ws'*^^j^*^S?^i^■^'i^J«S 



Shade-ioleranl free Species ■" '^ Major Rivers 

5/)a(ie-/nto/eran( Tree Species -^^ M&jor Roads 

■^"^ EIS Area Border 

O Cities and Towns 



live trees that historically could have remained 
on most sites, even after intense fire events. 
With the selective removal of shade-intolerant 
species, seed to grow new trees came mainly 
from shade-tolerant trees or trees with poor form 
or growth. Moist forests evolved with shade- 
intolerant species that dominated 70 to 80 
percent of landscapes. Current landscapes are 
mixed in dominance or are dominated by shade- 
tolerant species. Young stands of trees are 
dominated by even-aged grand fir, Douglas-fir, or 
white fir species; fire suppression reduced the 
thinning effect that favored shade-intolerant 
trees in the stands. Seed from poorly formed or 
undesired trees may pass on characteristics that 
will not provide the wood quality or other tree 
values desired in the future. 

Tree harvest and fire suppression compound 
forest health concerns with the extensive loss of 
western white pine and sugar pine to blister 
rust, and unsuccessful regeneration. Western 
white pine has been replaced by grand fir and 
white fir (now representing 28 percent of moist 
forests in the project area), western larch 
(24 percent), and shrub/herb/tree regeneration 
(17 percent). Aspen and Sierra mixed conifer 
forest types have also declined significantly. 
Causes for decline in aspen include fire 
suppression and livestock grazing in regenerating 
aspen stands, and infestations of large aspen 
tortrix and satin moth in some aging aspen 
stands. However, without fire or other 
disturbance, often required for successful 
regeneration, aspen stands may die out in some 
areas. Habitat diversity for wildlife provided by 
these forest types has also decreased, as have 
scenic qualities, recreation values, and wood 
products provided by those tree species which 
are now declining. 

As in dry forests, large trees, early-seral 
stands, and old, single-storied stands have 
decreased. Young and multi-storied, old 
stands have increased. 

Nutrient cycles can be limiting in moist forests. 
Soil fertility of some sites has been depleted 
through timber harvest practices or from 
multiple fires, which displace or erode surface 
soil, or remove much of the large woody material, 
litter, or duff. Concern for the health of the 
forest is escalated by lower productivity, higher 
probability of insect and disease infestation, 
greater probability of high intensity fires, and 
changes in habitat conditions. 



Insects and Disease 

Similar to changes discussed for dry forests, the 
susceptibility to large-scale damage by insect 
infestations and diseases has increased in many 
moist forests. Tree density has significantly 
increased and vigor has decreased in moist 
Douglas-fir and grand fir forests, making them 
more vulnerable to insect and disease damage. 
Moist forests provide productive environments 
where insects and disease are very active, given 
the right hosts. Timber harvest and mortality 
from fir engraver beetles have contributed to the 
sharp decline in productive grand and white fir 
patches in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6). The 
susceptibility of moist forests to Armillaria root 
disease, lamLnated root rot, and S-group annosum 
root disease is similar to that described in the 
dry forest potential vegetation group. 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in 
Moist Forests 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section was derived from the Terrestrial Ecology 
[Marcotetal. 1996] chapter of theAEC. 

Moist forests support a high level of terrestrial 
diversity, and have more tree species and more 
variety in stand structure than dry forests. This 
variety provides more habitat types, and 
therefore more available niches. The wetter 
climate promotes more flowering plants to 
provide food for a variety of species. The key 
environmental correlates such as downed logs 
and litter, provide habitat for species including 
carpenter ants, fungi, mosses, lichens, 
checkered beetles. Larch Mountain salamanders 
(an endemic species), northwestern salamanders, 
rubber boas, and sharp-tailed snakes. These 
and other species contribute to the breakdown of 
logs, returning nutrients to the soil, a key 
ecological function. They also provide food for 
bears, snakes, lizards, pileated woodpeckers, 
and other species. 

Invertebrates 

Invertebrates live in the soil, litter, leaves, 
needles, bark, wood, under story plants, and 
special habitats, such as rock, talus, and caves. 
These varied environmental factors, key 
environmental correlates, are more abundant in 
moist forests. Moisture keeps these habitats 
from drying out as easily as in dry forests, thus 
creating a more favorable environment for many 






invertebrates, especially snails, slugs, litter, soil 
organisms, and wood decomposers. 

Amphibians 

Moist forests have a rich diversity of amphibians 
due to the damp climate and high presence of 
aquatic habitats. Moist forests in eastern Oregon 
and Washington provide habitat for ten types of 
salamanders, one species of newt, one toad, and 
ten frog species {Species Environmental 
Relationship Model [SER Model]) . These species 
use downed logs and burrows, but must be near 
water to reproduce. 

Reptiles 

Habitat selection for snakes and lizards is driven 
more by the need for warm climates, rocks, talus, 
and soils suitable for burrows, than by specific 
vegetation needs. Reptile habitat exists in moist 
forests, especially in openings, south-facing slopes, 
and rock outcrops. Two turtles, four lizards, and 
ten snake species use moist forests in eastern 
Oregon and Washington (SER Model) . 

Birds 

Moist forests typically have multiple layers of 
trees which provide a wider variety of bird 
habitat than dry forests. Many birds nest at 
specific heights off the ground, or in trees of a 
certain diameter range. The SER Model lists 127 
species of birds that use moist forests in the 
project area, which increases to 150 if riparian 
habitats are present. Birds nest and feed in the 
canopies of trees, in cavities they excavate, in 
cavities excavated by other species, on the 
trunks or branches of trees, on the ground, or 
near water (Thomas 1979). Species in moist 
forests include the goshawk, pileated 
woodpecker, Lewis' woodpecker, northern three- 
toed woodpecker, boreal owl, and great gray owl. 

Aspen stands tend to be small and scattered in 
moist forests, but are important for nesting 
and feeding habitat for many birds, including 
red-breasted and red-naped sapsuckers, 
western tanager, violet-green swallow, and 
Swainson's thrush (Thomas 1979). In general, 
aspen stands, which are in decline, fill a vital 
role in providing key environmental correlates 
required for bird survival. 



Mammals 

The diversity of small mammal species is highest 
in the Northern Cascades (ERU 1) where the 
variety in forested habitat and proximity to 
westside habitats provides a mix of Cascades and 
Rocky Mountain species. The richness of the 
species in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6) is limited 
by their isolation from other forested habitats, 
especially for the less mobile species (Collopy 
and Smith 1995). In total, 89 species of 
mammals use different structural stages of 
moist forests in the project area (SER Model). 

Moist forests are used by many species of big 
game that are socially and economically 
important for hunting and viewing. They are 
used for food and other cultural and spiritual 
values by local tribes. Big game species are food 
for bears, mountain lions, wolves, and other large 
carnivores. Elk, moose, and mule deer use 
moist forests, especially meadows, shrublands, 
and early-seral forests for summer range. 
Bighorn sheep use cliffs and rock walls within 
moist forests, and feed in and move through 
grass and low shrub habitat, but avoid stands of 
trees or tall shrubs (Lyon et al. 1995). Aspen 
sprouts and buds within moist forests provide 
important winter and early spring nutrition for 
elk, deer, black bear, grouse, and hares. 

Moist forests in the Northern and Southern 
Cascades, and the Columbia River Gorge have 
been identified in iheTerrestrial Ecology (Marcot 
etal. 1996) chapter of the Assessment of 
Ecological Components as important to several 
rare or endemic species. Refer to the Dry Forest 
Potential Vegetation Group section earlier in this 
chapter for supplemental information on the 
importance of these areas. 

Effects of Vegetation Changes on 
Terrestrial Species, Habitats, and 
Functions 

Invertebrates 

Dense stocking of stands reduces light to the 
forest floor, which reduces understory 
vegetation, temperature, and the decomposition 
rate and nature of woody debris. These changes 
affect nutrient cycling and energy flows, which in 
turn reduce soil productivity, plant growth, and 
habitat for animals (refer to the Key Ecological 
Functions listed under the Terrestrial Wildlife 
Species and Habitats section earlier in this 



' ^<t,<S5BS'<^!;W!5!HKi(!^ 



chapter. In moist forests, the mosaic of habitat 
conditions and islands of unburned habitat 
created by fire have been reduced. Current 
stands are more uniform, which limits the 
distribution of less mobile species of 
invertebrates, such as snails, and may limit the 
reintroduction of insect and soil organisms into 
disturbed areas. Regenerated forests have also 
increased in moist forests. 

Amphibians 

Many amphibians east of the Cascades are on the 
edge of larger populations that live west of the 
Cascades. These peripheral populations are 
vulnerable because of changes in riparian 
habitats, predation by exotic fish and exotic bull 
frogs, changes in invertebrate populations, and 
potential climate changes. The tiger salamander, 
which only occurs east of the Cascades, is used 
as live bait and has shown an increase in 
distribution, probably due to release during 
fishing. Larch Mountain salamander habitat 
extends just over the eastern crest of the 
Cascades, in the moist talus slopes of late-seral 
forests. Mining of talus for road construction, 
rock, and other uses is impacting this 
amphibian. Since amphibians have permeable 
skins, they are good indicators of changes in 
water quality, climate, and microsites. 
Amphibians also help control insects; serve as 
food to fish, small birds, and mammals; provide 
burrows for other animals; and turn over soil. 
Each of these factors represents a key ecological 
function necessary to amphibian survival. 

Birds 

Based on surveys of banded birds, twice as many 
bird species increased populations in moist 
forests than decreased. Major declines occurred 
for species that use old forests and large trees 
(northern goshawk, Vaux's swift, pileated 
woodpecker, Hammond's flycatcher, pygmy 
nuthatch, and Swainson's thrush), and species 
that use riparian and montane meadow habitats 
(red-eyed vireo, gray catbird, cedar waxwing, 
MacGillivray's warbler, Wilson's warbler. 
Brewer's blackbird, and song sparrow), 
especially in the Blue Mountains and Northern 
Glaciated Mountains (ERUs 6 and 7). Brown- 
headed cowbirds, which are nest parasites on 
other birds, have increased due to the reduction 
of forested cover in riparian areas. Species that 
use shrubby riparian areas and young forests 



(western wood-peewee, dusky flycatcher, 
northern oriole, lazuli bunting, and warbling 
vireo) have increased compared to historic times 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). 

MamTnals 

Mountain bighorn sheep populations have declined 
in most areas due to the spread of disease from 
and competition with domestic sheep, conifer 
encroachment, and increased habitat isolation. 
Some bighorn sheep populations, such as the 
Snake River Canyon herd, are increasing due to 
habitat improvements and control of direct contact 
with domestic sheep, which limits the spread of 
disease . Moose are gradually increasing, especially 
in ai'eas near Canadian moose populations. 

The red-backed vole, northern flying squirrels, 
pygmy shrew, redtail chipmunk, and other moist 
forest mammals may be declining due to the 
decrease in mature moist forests. These small 
mammal species are important food for owls, 
hawks, martens, and other carnivores, as well as 
to distribute and plant seeds throughout the 
forest (Collopy and Smith 1995). 

Cold Forest 

Potential Vegetation Group 

Current Distribution 

The cold forest potential vegetation group is a 
significant component of vegetation at higher 
elevations; however, it only occurs on 
approximately ten percent of the project area. 
The Forest Service and BLM administer 87 
percent of cold forests in the project area. 

Subalpine sites that support cold forests are 
mai-ginal for tree establishment and growth; they 
define the upper limits of tree survival on 
mountains. Cold forests are generally limited by 
a short growing season, and on some sites also 
by low available moisture. Rates of tree growth 
are generally slow in comparison to moist 
forests. Nutrients are often limited and loss of 
volcanic ash soil, litter, surface soil, or tree 
foliage from the site can greatly reduce 
productivity. Maintenance of dead and downed 
wood on these sites is important for nutrient 
cycling (refer to the Key Ecological Functions 
listed under the Terrestrial Wildlife Species and 
Habitats section earlier in this chapter. 






- s«i;-si^sE::Sf JJftJ:: ,; ^V;;«^;^ 



Tree regeneration In the cold forest group is 
generally slow; mortality from stress, insects, 
and disease thins stands and accelerates growth 
of the surviving trees. Cold forests extend into 
moist forests along stream courses, in areas with 
cold air pockets, or on other cold sites 
[Landscape Dynamics [Hann et al. 1996] chapter 
oftheAEC). 

Composition and Structure 

Dominant shade-intolerant tree species in cold 
forests are western larch, lodgepole pine, 
western white pine, white bark pine, and alpine 
larch. Dominant shade-tolerant species in cold 
forests are aspen, Engelmann spruce, subalpine 
fir, grand fir, white fir, interior Douglas-fir, 
mountain hemlock, and red fir. Mountain 
hemlock occurs in only a few scattered areas 
immediately east of the Cascade Crest, and in the 
northern Blue Mountains (ERU 6) in eastern 
Oregon and northeastern Washington (Agee 
1 994) . Mountain hemlock communities are 
limited to northerly aspects below ridgetops 
where deep snowpack and cold temperatures 
persist throughout the year (Johnson et al. 
1994). See Maps 2- 19 and 2-20 for the 
distribution of historical and current cold forests. 

With an absence of disturbance, cold forests are 
dominated by subalpine fir or Engelmann 
spruce. Spruce tends to be present on moist 
sites and in areas with cold air pockets. 
Subalpine fir dominates when sites are too cold 
for other shade-tolerant species. When fire is 
present as a disturbance, lodgepole pine is the 
dominant species after intense fires kill most 
trees. Douglas-fir and western larch are the 
major species on warmer, drier, disturbed sites, 
especially on southerly slopes at higher 
elevations or lower slope elevations adjacent to 
grand fir forests (Johnson et al. 1994). 

Whitebark pine maybe co-dominant with 
subalpine fir in stands at the upper limits of tree 
growth (timberline) . Whitebark pine forests exist 
Ln harsh areas with high winds, and can withstand 
severe ice and snow damage which create open 
or clumped stands (Johnson etal. 1994). 

Non-tree vegetation in the cold forest potential 
vegetation group includes shrubs and grasses 
which have evolved under natural cycles of fire 
and ice. Characteristic shrubs of the cold forest 
potential vegetation group include fool's 
huckleberry, grouse huckleberry. Cascades 



azalea, laborador tea, and thimbleberry. 
Herbaceous species include white-coiled beak, 
white hawkweed, alpine hawkweed, pink 
elephant heads, and explorer's gentian. Grasses 
include green fescue, western needlegrass, Idaho 
fescue, andbluebunchwheatgrass. Many of 
these species are perennial, surviving years in 
which flowering and fruiting cycles are disrupted 
by the early arrival of killing frosts. The 
transition zone between lower elevations of cold 
forests, and upper elevations of moist forests is 
characterized by relatively moist openings that 
can support meadow vegetation. 

Historical Conditions 

Historically, fire intervals in the cold forest 
potential vegetation group were highly variable 
and correlated with landform. The interval 
between fires varied from 25 to 300 years in cold 
forests. The historical distribution of fire 
regimes within this group were 10 percent non- 
lethal fires. 25 to 30 percent lethal fires, and 60 
percent mixed fire regimes. The fire regime was 
often intermixed with the other regimes in one 
fire event or through a series of fire events. The 
fire season for this group is short, generally 
during August. Fires that burned hot enough to 
kill trees changed stand composition from shade- 
tolerant species to shade-intolerant species, 
such as lodgepole pine and western larch 
(Lehmkuhl et al. 1994). Depending on the extent 
of the fire and the weather that followed, 
substantial burned areas have remained treeless 
for decades unless a seed source of lodgepole 
pine was present at the time of the burn. Where 
lodgepole pine is present, tree cover is usually 
rapidly re-established (Agee 1994). These 
intense fires also changed old multi-story stands 
that developed with low intensity fire events to 
single-layer stands. Large fires maintained large 
patches of similar forest conditions within river 
drainages, compared with dry and moist forests 
which tended to have small patches created by 
fire events (Agee 1994). 

Cold forests on steep slopes with moist to wet 
conditions burned frequently with lethal crown 
fires. The interval between these lethal fires was 
often so short that stands did not reach the 
mature or old forest stage before the next fire. 
These fires varied in intensity, leaving scattered 
large residual trees, small patches of green trees 
in seep areas, and snags. Sometimes fires would 
reburn within a short time period and produce 






open grass and shrublands that would last for 
relatively long periods before regenerating. 

In general, a fairly high component of old multi- 
story forest was maintained. These old forests 
were typically found in cold, wet bottoms or 
basins where fires either did not burn or burned 
in a patchy manner. Old single-layer forests 
were generally maintained by frequent ground 
fires on benches and ridges dominated by 
whitebark and lodgepole pine. 

Cold forests also experienced endemic insect and 
disease occurrences, which occasionally flared 
up into a localized epidemic. 

Current Conditions and Trends: 
Departures in Composition and 
Structure and Disturbance Processes 
and Patterns 

Cold forests have longer fire intervals and fewer 
human-caused disturbances than dry or moist 
forests. The effects of fire suppression, logging, 
road building, livestock grazing, and other 
modifications on forest structure and 
composition are not as noticeable as in dry or 
moist forests. However, some changes from 
historical conditions have occurred. 

Primary changes in vegetation composition and 
structure have been in response to road and 
timber harvest, exotic blister rust disease on 
whitebark pine, and changes in fire type and 
frequency (see Table 2-11). The cold climate and 
short growing season in cold forests slow the 
natural rate of change in vegetation when 
compared to dry or moist forests. 

Essentially, there has been no loss in 
distribution of this potential vegetation group 
from historical to current times. Some of the old 
multi-story forest has been harvested. Although 
the amount of old, single-layer forest has not 
changed significantly, its composition is 
deteriorating with the loss of whitebark pine to 
blister rust. Young forests have increased, 
generally as a result of harvesting old multi-story 
forests. These harvested areas generally do not 
have the number of snags that occurred 
historically, which limits habitat for birds, 
mamm.als, and insects that need dead trees. 
Additionally, cold forests have experienced more 
frequent lethal fires in the past ten years than 
they did under historical conditions, partly due 
to the spread of fires from other forest types. 



Historically, shade-intolerant species dominated 
regeneration and young forest environments. 
This relationship has been altered, resulting in 
landscapes that now have mixed dominance or 
are dominated by shade-tolerant species. This is 
especially true where timber harvest has 
selectively removed high-value larch and pine, 
and fire suppression has favored the 
establishment of shade-tolerant species. As a 
result, much of the area where significant 
investments have been made (roads, harvest, 
planting, thinning, etc.) is highly susceptible to 
tree mortality from fire, insects, disease, and 
stress. Where whitebark pine and alpine larch 
have declined, they have been replaced by 
Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir. In 
particular, the loss of white bark pine and alpine 
larch habitat because of white pine blister rust, 
and overstocking caused by fire suppression, 
have become forest health concerns in the past 
ten years. Future forests will not provide as 
much habitat and tree species diversity from 
pine and larch as they have in the past. 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats 
in Cold Forests 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section was derived from the Terrestrial Ecology 
[Marcot et al. 1996] chapter of theAEC. 

Cold forests in the Northern Cascades (ERU 1) 
and Blue Mountains (ERU 6) support several 
rare wildlife species, or species with very limited 
distributions. These areas have unique habitats, 
such as springs, seeps, microsites for insects, 
and islands of alpine habitat that are isolated 
from other alpine habitat in Canada and Alaska. 
These subalpine and Arctic habitats were 
connected at various times in history when 
climates cooled and glaciers advanced. 

In specific terms, the whitebark pine is an 
important source of seeds for grizzly bears, 
birds, and small mammals. Clark's nutcracker, 
a common bird in cold forests, is responsible for 
transporting whitebark pine seed for future 
seedlings. When It is available, squirrels and 
chipmunks cache white bark pine seed. 

Invertebrates 

The types of invertebrate species and their 
habitats found in the cold forests are similar in 
nature to those found in moist forests. 









Amphibians and Reptiles 

The Cascades frog lives in small pools adjacent to 
subalpine meadows. The introduction of 
predatory fish can threaten the breeding success 
of this species. This frog is sensitive to changes 
in ultraviolet radiation on its embryos, and may 
be a good early warning species for changes in 
the ozone layer. Cold forests and subalpine 
areas are generally too cold, with a short 
breeding season, to provide much habitat for 
reptiles and amphibians. Nine species of 
salamander, one newt, one toad, and nine frogs use 
cold forests in the project area (SER Model) , but in 
small numbers. The Great Basin spadefoot toad, 
western toad, and Pacific treefrog, which use some 
cold forest areas, are sensitive to changes in 
wetlands, springs, and ponds. 

There are no reptile species listed in the SER 
Model as cold forest inhabitants. 

Birds 

The SER Model lists 103 species of birds that use 
cold forest habitats in the project area. Although 
most species use both cold and moist forests, 
fewer birds use cold forests. This is due to lower 
diversity in tree species, fewer insects for food, and 
the shorter growing season in cold forests. 

Boreal owls and great grey owls are starting to 
move into cold forests in northern Washington 
from Canada. These species are well known in 
cold forest habitats in the entire project area. 
Lxjng-eared owls nest in subalpine fir forests. 
Redrtailed hawks and great horned owls feed on 
voles and squirrels that inhabit these forests. 
The increased occurrence of snags, especially 
large diameter snags, in cold forests are 
important for the survival of hairy woodpeckers, 
Williamson's sapsucker, black-backed three-toed 
woodpeckers, and northern three-toed 
woodpeckers. These species create cavities 
used by northern flying squirrels, mountain 
chickadees, and Vaux's swift, and help control 
insect outbreaks and distribute seeds. 

Cold forests tend to have more downed logs and 
other woody material due to lower levels of 
logging, less road access, slower decomposition 
rate, and longer fire intervals. Moisture, insects, 
fungi, and wildlife in search of insects aid in the 
decomposition of logs. Franklin's, blue, and 
ruffed grouse, which are upland game birds, use 
logs in cold forests for cover and nesting areas. 
Logs are also used by vagrant shrews, Pacific 



tree frogs, and many insects, fungi, and bacteria 
important to soil productivity and nutrient 
cycling. These are some of the key ecological 
functions that logs serve for birds. 

Mammals 

As with birds, most mammal species that use 
moist forests also use cold forests. The SER 
Model lists 73 mamrhals in cold forests of the 
project area. American pika, lynx, wolverine, bog 
lemming, snowshoe hare, and the northern fljning 
squirrel are closely tied to cold forest habitats. 

More than 35 percent of cold forests in the 
project area are included in wildernesses, 
wilderness study areas, or other natural areas. 
Significant portions of cold forests are also within 
other unroaded areas. Natural fires are more 
likely to be allowed in unroaded areas, which 
helps retain diversity in structural stages and 
create habitat mosaics in cold forests for the 
future. Lower road densities and steeper terrain 
make these important refuge areas for elk, 
bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolverine, pikas, 
and other species that can use this habitat to 
escape human activity. 

Effects of Vegetation Changes 
on Terrestrial Species, Habitats, 
and Functions 

Cold forests have had less timber harvest, road 
construction, grazing, and associated impacts 
because of the steeper terrain, and a shorter 
growing season than dry or moist forests. 
Although lower road densities limit some human 
activities, snowmobiling, skiing, and dirt biking 
in cold forests can displace and stress wildlife 
from the noise and associated activities. Bighorn 
sheep, mountain goats, lynx, wolverine, bears, 
and marten are particularly sensitive to human 
activity and need areas of refuge from roads and 
activities. Although mountain goats have 
extended their range into areas where they have 
not historically been, some populations have 
declined for currently unknown reasons. 

Declines have been documented in species that 
use old forests and large trees in cold forests, 
such as the northern goshawk, Vaxox's swift, 
pileated woodpecker, Hammond's flycatcher, 
pygmy nuthatch, and Swainson's thrush; and 
species that use riparian and meadow habitats in 
cold forests, such as red-eyed vireo, gray 
catbird, cedar waxwing, MacGillivray's warbler, 



'"iiliillSik..:: 







Map 249. 

Cold Forest Distribution 

Historical 



50 100 I 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Di-aft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



^^™ Shade-tolerant Tree Species '^^^ Major Rivers 

USm Shade-intoleranl Iree Species ■^'^ Major Roads 

^^>^ EIS Area Border 

O Cilies and lowns 




Map 2^0. 

Cold Forest Distribution 

Current 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



Shade-tolerant Tree Species -^'-^ M^jor Rivers 

Shade-intolerant Tree Species ^^^ Ma/or Roads 

^^ EIS Area Border 

® Cities and Towns 



Wilson's warbler, Brewer's blackbird, and song 
sparrow. The loss of old stands and large trees 
is especially prevalent in the Blue Mountains and 
Northern Glaciated Mountedns (ERUs 6 and 7; 
Collopy and Smith 1 995) . 

SuTnmary of Changes from 
Historical to Current 



ERU 5 ~ Columbia Plateau 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 30 percent decrease in late-sera! ponderosa pine 
single story forest. 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent decrease in late-serai ponderosa pine 
single story forest. 



The following summarizes by ecological reporting 
unit, by potential vegetation group (PVG), and by 
terrestrial community for BLM/Forest Service- 
administered lands. 

ERU 1 ~ Northern Cascades 

Cold Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent increase in early-seral montane forest. 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 35 percent decrease in late-seral ponderosa pine 
single story forest. 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 30 percent increase in early-seral montane forest. 

ERU 2 ~ Southern Cascades 

Cold Forest PVG. 

♦ A 35 percent decrease in mid-seral subalpine forest. 

♦ A 35 percent increase in late-seral montane multi- 
story forest. 

ERUS ~ Upper Klamath 

Cold Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent decrease in mid-seral montane forest. 

♦ A 25 percent decrease in late-seral montane single 
story forest. 

♦ A 40 percent increase in late-seral montane multi- 
story forest. 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent increase in late-seral montane multi- 
story forest. 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent decrease in mid-seral montane forest. 

♦ A 45 percent increase in late-seral montane multi- 
story forest. 

ERU 4 ~ Northern Great Basin 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 45 percent increase in late-seral montane multi- 
story forest. 



ERU 6 ~ Blue Mountains 

Cold Forest PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent increase in early-seral subalpine forest. 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 35 percent increase in late-seral ponderosa pine 
single story forest. 

ERU 7 ~ Northern Glaciated Mountains 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 30 percent increase in mid-seral montane forest. 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 35 percent increase in mid-seral montane forest. 

EJR17 10" Owyhee Uplands 

Dry Forest PVG. 

♦ A 60 percent increase in mid-seral ponderosa pine 
forest. 

Moist Forest PVG. 

♦ A 80 percent increase in mid-seral montane forest. 






■^;-!S^'W¥^SS;sB« 'r- 



Rangelands 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Exotic Species ~ A plant or animal species introduced from a distant place; not native to the area. 

Extirpation ~ Localized disappearance of a species from an area. 

Grazing pressure ~ The ratio of forage demand to forage available, for any specified forage, at any point in time. 
Thus, as forage demand increases relative to forage available, grazing pressure increases, and vice-versa. 

Herbaceous ~ Green and leaflike in appearance or texture with soft stems, not woody; includes grasses, grass- 
like plants, and forbs. 

Herbivore ~ An animal that subsists principally or entirely on plants or plant materials. Herbivory is the act of 
the animal consuming the plants. 

Introduced forage grasses ~ Grasses that (1) are not a part of the original mix of plants in an area, (2) provide 
forage for herbivores, including livestock and wildlife, and (3) often are planted to stabilize soil. 

Native species ~ Species that normally live and thrive in a particular ecosystem. 

Noxious Weed - A plant species designated by federal or state law as generally possessing one or more of the following 
characteristics; aggressive and difficult to manage; parasitic; a carrier or host of serious insects or disease; or non-native, 
new, or not common to the United States. According to the Federal Noxious Weed Act (PL 93-639), a noxious weed is 
one that causes disease or has other adverse effects on humans or their environment and therefore is detrimental to the 
agriculture and commerce of the United States and to public health. 



J 



SuTnmary of Conditions 
and Trends 

The following ecological trends have occurred 
on rangelands in the project area since 
historiCcil times due to changes in native 
disturbance and successional processes: 

♦Noxious weeds are spreading rapidly, 
and in some cases exponentially, on 
rangelands in every range cluster. 

♦Woody species encroachment by and/or 
increasing density of woody species 
(sagebrush, juniper, ponderosapine, 
lodgepole pine, and Douglas-fir), especially 
on dry grasslands and cool shrublands, 
has reduced herbaceous understory and 
biodiversity. 

♦ Cheatgrass has taken over many dry 
shrublands, increasing soil erosion and 
fire frequency and reducing biodiversity 
and wildlife habitat. Cheatgrass and other 
exotic plant infestations have simplified 
species composition, reduced biodiversity, 
changed species interactions and forage 



availability, and reduced the systems' 
ability to buffer against changes. 

♦ Degradation of riparian areas and 
subsequent loss of riparian vegetation 
cover has reduced riparian ecosystem 
function, water quality, and habitat for 
many aquatic and terrestrial species (see 
the Aquatic Ecosystems section) . 

♦ Expansion of agricultural and urban areas 
on non-federal lands has reduced the 
extent of some rangeland potential 
vegetation groups, most notably dry 
grasslands, dry shrublands, and riparian 
areas. Changes in some of the remaining 
habitat patches due to 
fragmentation, exotic species, disruption of 
natural fire cycles, overuse by livestock and 
wildlife, and loss of native species diversity 
have contributed to a number of wildlife 
species declines, some to the point of 
special concern (such as sage grouse, 
Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, California 
bighorn sheep, pygmy rabbit, kit fox, and 
Washington ground squiirel) . 

♦ Increased fragmentation and loss of 
connectivity within and between blocks of 









habitat, especially in shrub steppe and 
riparian areas, have isolated some 
habitats and populations and reduced the 
ability of populations to move across the 
landscape, resulting in long-term loss of 
genetic interchange. 

♦ Slow- to-recover rangelands (in general, 
rangelands that receive less than 12 
inches of precipitation per year) are not 
recovering naturally at a pace that is 
acceptable to the general public, and are 
either highly susceptible to degradation or 
already dominated by cheatgrass and 
noxious weeds. 

^ Open road densities and human activity 
have increased. Higher densities cause 
many species to leave the area to avoid 
human activity. Recreation, plant 
gathering, and Other uses of all types of 
habitat have steadily increased recently 
because of increasing human populations 
in the project area. These uses can 
increase wildlife displacement and 
vulnerability to mortality, fragmented 
habitat, and allow for access of exotic plants 
into new locations. 



Introduction 

BLM- and Forest Service-administered 
rangelands make up approximately 37 percent of 
the project area and 4 1 percent of the planning 
area. Rangelands encompass grasslands, 
shrublands, woodlands, and various riparian 
areas around permanent and non-permanent 



water. Only a few tree species are native to 
rangelands and these typically are located in 
wetter areas, especially in riparian areas and 
areas close to forests. Before Europeans 
colonized the region, climate and fire played 
major roles in directing the way rangeland 
vegetation appeared on the landscape. Humans 
have altered native fire regimes and their effects 
on vegetation, and have added new factors 
responsible for changes observed on rangelands. 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section is derived primarily from the Landscape 
Dynamics (Hann et al. 1996) and Terrestrial 
Ecology [MsLTCot et al. 1996) chapters of theAEC. 

There are 29 potential vegetation types 
representing rangeland ecosystems which were 
grouped into the following potential vegetation 
groups in the Assessment (Quigley et al. 
1996a, b): dry grass, dry shrub, cool shrub, 
woodland, alpine, riparian shrub, and riparian 
woodland. The woodland and alpine groups were 
not specifically discussed in this chapter 
because they only represent small portions of the 
project area and have not changed significantly 
since historical times. The riparian shrub and 
riparian woodland potential vegetation groups 
are discussed in the Aquatic Ecosystems section 
of this chapter. Table 2-13 lists the potential 
vegetation types in each rangeland potential 
vegetation group that ai-e discussed in this section. 
Maps 2-21 and 2-22 showthe three major historical 
and current rangeland potential vegetation groups 
(dry grass: dry shrub, and cool shrub). 



r 



^ 



^ 



Rangeland Health ~ A Definition 

The biological and physical definition of rangeland health is "the degree to which the integrity of the soil and 
the ecological processes of rangeland ecosystems are sustained." Rangeland health is synonymous with 
ecosystem health and integrity as discussed in Chapter 1, but is applied strictly to rangeland ecosystems. 
Health, however, has been used to indicate the proper function of complex systems; the term is increasingly 
applied to ecosystems to indicate a condition in which ecological processes are functioning properly to 
maintain the structure, organization, and activity of the system over time. 

Soil integrity is critical for rangeland health and depends on an intact soil profile (layers of soil) and the 
condition of the soil surface. Important ecological processes in rangelands include the nutrient cycle, 
nitrogen cycle, and carbon cycle (see Figure 2-3, Nitrogen Cycle and Figure 2-4, Carbon Cycle); energy flows 
and the terrestrial food chain (see Figure 2-1 0, Terrestrial Food Chain); and plant community dynamics such 
as succession (see Figure 2-12, Succession in the Sagebrush Steppe) (Rangeland Health: New Methods to 
Classify, Inventory, and Monitor Rangelands). 






Table 2-13. Rangeland Vegetation Classifications. 



Potential Vegetation Group 



Potential Vegetation Types 



Dry Shrub 



Cool Shrub 



Antelope Bitterbrush 

Basin Big Sage Steppe 

Big Sage- Cool 

Big Sage-Warm 

Low Sage-Mesie 

Low Sage-Mesic with Juniper 

Low Sage-Xeric 

Low Sage-Xeric with Juniper 

Salt Desert Shrub 

Threetip Sage 

Mountain Big Sage-Mesic - East 

Mountain Big Sage-Mesic - East with Conifer 

Mountain Big Sage-Mesic - West 

Mountain Big Sage-Mesic - West with Juniper 

Mountain Shi-ub 



Diy Grass 



Agropyron Steppe 
Fescue Grassland 
Fescue Grassland with Conifer 



Source: Hann et al (1996). 



Dry Grass Potential Vegetation 
Group 

Distribution 

The dry grass potential vegetation group (PVG) 
makes up only four percent of the project area, 
compared to nine percent historically. The dry 
grass PVG makes up only four percent of the 
planning area as well. The BLM and Forest 
Service manage 27 percent of what remains of 
this group within the planning area. The dry 
grass potential vegetation group can be found in 
all ecological reporting units, but mostly in the 
Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) and Blue Mountains 
(ERU6). 

Composition and Structure 

Dry grasslands in the project area are dominated 
by perennial bunchgrasses such as wheatgrass 
steppe, fescue grassland, and vegetation types 
that have the potential to be invaded by dry- 
forest vegetation. Dry grasslands also include 
crested wheatgrass, an exotic perennial grass 



that was seeded to rehabilitate dry shrublands in 
poor condition and to provide a dependable grass 
forage for livestock. 

Dry grasslands have evolved over the past 
10,000 years, and plants and animals that 
inhabited them lived in a constantly changing 
environment. Historically, disturbances from 
climate and fire caused the lowlands to be 
dominated by sagebrush, and included periods of 
expansion for grasslands, juniper, andshadscale 
desert (shrublands with sparse rainfall, 
vegetation, and shallow soils). 

In general, vegetation growth and production in 
dry grasslands is limited by low rainfall and 
shallow, rocky, or clay soils. Native dry grassland 
communities, however, are very diverse, hosting 
a variety of grasses, forbs, and reeds. In years 
with good winter or spring moisture, grasslands 
can be fairly productive, but drought is common. 
Droughts generally last for three to five very dry 
years over a ten- to twenty-year period, with 
moist and dry years scattered in-between. Most 
moisture falls in the cool winter and spring 
seasons; summers are typically dry. In areas 
with cloudy or foggy winters, dry grasslands are 




Map 2-21. 

Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups 

Historical 



50 100 150 ' 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



Cool Shrub '^'^^ Major Rivers 

t 1 Dry Grass ^-^ Major Roads 

^ Dry Shrub >N^ EIS Area Border 




Map 2-22. 

Rangeland Potential Vegetation Groups 

Current 



100 050 ' 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



■BED Cool Shrub --"^ M^jor 
^EH Dry Grass ^^V' Ma/or Roads 



Rivers 



Dry Shrub ^^ EIS Area Border 



® 





Fire Frequency 

50-100 years - Wyoming Big Sagebrush 

20-30 years - IVlountain Big Sagebrush 




Reduced Fire Frequency 



(D 





as;' 



© 




Introduced Annuals 




increased 

Fire Frequency 

3 - 5 years 



3 




Increased 

Fire 
Frequency 






Altered Sagebrush Steppe Cycle 



Figure 2-12. Sagebrush Steppe Succession. Three common pathways of succession in the sagebrush steppe. 
Pathway A represents a successionfrom a grassland to a shrub-grass dominated plant community, withfire acting to 
move the shrub-grass community back to a grassland. Pathway B represents succession of a shrub-grass dominated 
plant community to either a woodland (dominated mostly by Juniper) or a shrubland, caused by a reduction infire 
occurrence. Pathwau C represents succession of a shrub-grass dominated plant community to a community dominated 
by introduced annual grasses, characterized by an increase infire occurrence. Introduced annual grasses have 
invaded these communities partially as a result of excessive grazing pressure. Once dominated by introduced annual 
grasses, the commwiity tends to remain this way because of frequent fire, whichprevents shrubsfrom establishing. 
(Adaptedfrom Vavra et al. (editors). 1 994. Ecological Implications of Livestock Herbivory in the West.j 



common, possibly because sagebrush and other 
shrub species need sunlight in the winter 
months. Grassland plants depend on storage of 
winter moisture in soils because most of their 
growth takes place during the spring and early 
summer. Grassland plants do not have deep root 
systems needed to tap retreating soil moisture. 
Therefore, they go dormant until fall rains 
stimulate another growth period [Terrestrial 
Ecology [Maixot et al. 1996] chapter of theAEC). 

This potential vegetation group exhibits a high 
degree of departure from succession and 
disturbance regimes historically. The primary 
causes of this departure are related to conversion 
to agriculture and urban use, improper livestock 
grazing, invasion of exotics, and changes in fire 
regimes attributable to fire suppression and 
grazing. Generally these causes result in lower 
productivity, higher probability of severe or 
chaotic events, and less similarity to the diverse 
native system (for example, cheatgrass 
encroachment) . Large dominant bunchgrasses such 
as bluebunch wheatgrass and Idaho fescue are being 
replaced by the smaller bunchgrasses such as 
Sandbergbluegrass, forbs, and exotic species. 

Approximately two-thirds of the fires in the dry 
grass potential vegetation group were non-lethal, 
occurring in dried out grass and forb areas. 
Approximately half of the acreage bui'ned at 
intervals of less than 25 years, and the rest at 25 
to 75 years. Approximately 32 percent of the fires 
were of mixed severity (non-lethal and lethal fires) 
at 25- to 75- year intervals. 

The current fire regime reflects the encroachment of 
trees and shrubs, particularly ponderosa pine, 
Douglas-fir, and mountain big sagebrush, caused 
by fire exclusion. Presently, approximately one- 
third of fires are non-lethal. The percent of mixed 
severity fires, 60 percent, is almost double that of 
what it was historically, showing that current 
fires are killing dominant trees and shrubs that 
have been established. Fires are more likely to 
have relatively severe effects on the soil surface 
and herbaceous plants, particularly when they 
occur during extremely dry years. 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats 
in Dry Grasslands 

Species associated with dry grasslands declined as 
much or more than any group in the project area. 
Some associated plant and animal species have 
been identified as at risk in the Terrestrial 



Ecology (Marcot et al. 1996) chapter of theAEC. 
Some of these species, including the Columbian 
sharp-tailed grouse, California bighorn sheep, 
pygmy rabbit, and kit fox, require individual 
consideration to prevent listing them as 
threatened or endangered. 

Invertebrates 

Little is known about individual invertebrate 
species. Some of the common groups of 
invertebrates include arthropods, mollusks, 
earthworms, protozoa, and nematodes. Adequate 
soil structure and chemistry is essential for soil 
invertebrates to survive. Factors that have 
caused some invertebrate declines include the 
use of pesticides, loss of litter and dead plant 
material, and decline in forbs attributable to 
grazing, range treatments, fire suppression, and 
disturbance of springs, wetlands, talus slopes, 
caves, and other specialhabitats. 

Grazing can reduce grass, seeds, forbs, and dead 
plant material available to invertebrate 
herbivores and pollinators. Livestock use has 
caused localized soil compaction, especially in 
wet areas, which has impacted soil-dwelling 
species such as earthworms, nematodes, snails, 
and slugs. Except for species that are being 
considered for special status, the impact on 
invertebrates from these disturbances is largely 
unknown. The greatest change to invertebrate 
habitat in rangelands is the conversion of 
grasslands and shrublands to other uses. 

According to species estimates made for the 
project area, approximately 15 percent of 
potential invertebrate species have been 
identified. Of those identified, few have been 
studied, quantified, or had their ranges mapped. 
Of the known species, many have been 
accidentally or intentionally introduced. The 
small size and mobility of invertebrates make 
them easy to introduce by vehicles, cargo, 
animals, wind, and other means. Exotic 
invertebrate species pose an increasing threat to 
native invertebrates through competition, 
displacement, and interbreeding, as well as to 
other plants and animals that they may attack. 
Invertebrates perform key ecological functions 
(refer to Terrestrial Wildlife Species and Habitats 
in the Forestlands section of this chapter) in the 
environment by decomposing wood and litter that 
return nutrients to the energy cycle, and sen/ing 
as food for other groups of animals. Other key 
ecological functions of invertebrates include 
turning over soil and increasing its productivity, 



pollinating flowers, and dispersing seed. The 
habitat requirements for invertebrates are 
generally at a scale so fine that it is difficult to 
predict how they will be modified by projected 
management activities, which tend to operate at 
a much larger scale. For this reason, 
invertebrates are addressed by conservation 
strategies and recovery plans. Standards in 
Chapter 3 addresses the habitat needs of listed 
and aquatic invertebrates. 

Amphibians 

Essential for most amphibians is seasonal and 
permanent wetland habitat, which is a limited 
habitat in dry grasslands. Salamanders are rare 
in this potential vegetation group; the tiger and 
long- toed salamander are found in wet areas. 
The Great Basin spadefoot toad, Woodhouse toad, 
and spotted frog are limited to wetlands and 
pond habitat. The introduction of bullfrogs and 
exotic predatory fish species, along with water 
quality problems have caused a decline in native 
frog abundance and distribution. Many human- 
caused ponds, catchments, and spring 
developments on rangelands have increased frog 
habitat, but groundwater developments and 
water diversions into troughs and tanks have 
altered other habitat areas. The key environmental 
correlates and key ecological functions include 
helping control insects, turning over soil, 
creating burrows for other species, and as 
indicators of water quality and quantity. 

Reptiles 

Many reptiles in the project area are on the 
northern-most limits of their ranges, and are 
more common in the Great Basin and Mojave 
deserts to the south. In general, reptile diversity 
is high in rangelands, but species on the edge of 
their range appear to be especially susceptible to 
habitat degradation and climate change (Collopy 
and Smith 1995). Reptile habitat in the lowlands 
is influenced more directly by elevation, aspect, 
and physical features (rock, talus, terrain, and 
soil characteristics), rather than by vegetation. 
Thus, some of the vegetation changes 
attributable to grazing, exotic species invasion, 
and fire suppression may not have impacted 
reptiles. Common reptiles found in dry 
grasslands include the garter snake, western 
fence lizard, short-horned lizard, yellow-bellied 
racer, striped whipsnake, gopher snake, and 
ringneck snake. Highways, reservoirs, and other 
human-created structures are barriers to 



movement for reptiles and amphibians. Reptiles 
are functionally important as predator and prey 
species to insects, small mammals, and birds. 
The key ecological functions of reptiles include 
helping to control rodents and insects, providing 
food for birds and mammals, and providing 
burrows for other animals. 

Birds 

There are 111 bird species in the project area 
associated with dry grasslands, of which 38 
showed significant declines in population 
censuses over the past 26 years. Neotropical 
migratory birds breed and nest within the project 
area, but winter in South and Central America. 
Thus, a reduction in species may be associated 
with changes both inside and outside of the 
project area. The greatest impact to birds 
appears to be the loss of riparian and wetland 
habitat, but loss of native grasslands may be 
linked to some species' declines. Riparian 
vegetation is used by 64 percent of these 
neotropical migratory bird species (Saab 1996). 
Until recently, kflldeer, olive-sided flycatcher, 
willow flycatcher, red-winged blackbird, western 
meadow lark, and Brewer's blackbird showed 
consistent long-term declines. The two species 
primarily associated with riparian habitat 
degradation, the olive-sided and wiflow 
flycatchers, are likely influenced by federal land 
management. Recent upweird trends in 
neotropical birds may indicate a gradual 
recovery in riparian habitats (Collopy and Smith 
1995), which may account for the recent upward 
trend in long-billed curlew numbers, although 
the reasons are unclear. Riparian and grassland 
habitats in rangelands were identified as 
conservation priorities. Brown-headed cowbirds, 
and red-tailed hawks have increased in 
population during the past 26 years. 

Loss of native grasslands and reduction in 
grassland cover have significantly reduced plant and 
insect forage, nesting habitat, and hiding cover for 
several species. Habitat changes have caused 
dramatic declines in Columbian sharp-tailed grouse, 
upland sandpipers, mountain quail, and 
grasshopper sparrows. Sharp-tailed grouse were 
once a common and popular game bird in eastern 
Oregon and Washington, but the conversion of 
grasslands to agriculture and loss of native 
grasslands led to the extermination of these birds 
from Oregon in the 1 960s. Sharp-tailed grouse have 
been reintroduced in northeastern Oregon and some 
habitat areas are being protected in Washington. 



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A i^^-„y^4iSi.M<>'^'i-*A/:44i/-A-A^-^{ i^-.^ 



Improper livestock grazing and increased fire 

frequency due to the spread of annual exotic 
species, such as cheatgrass, also damages nests 
ofmany ground-nesting birds, such askilldeer 
and sandpiper, in grassland habitats (Collopy 
and Smith 1995). Improper livestock grazing, 
succession, and increases in fragmentation and 
edge habitat have favored the cowbird, which is a 
nest parasite that reduces the reproductive 
success of other species. The western 
meadowlark, loggerhead shrike, lark sparrow, 
and Brewer's blackbird, important for controlling 
insects and distributing seeds, have declined 
and should be studied in the future (Collopy and 
Smith 1995). 

Low elevation areas have a rich diversity of 
predatory birds (hawks, eagles, and owls), 
especially in the Owyhee Uplands (ERU 1 0) . 
Canyon walls of the Snake River provide nesting 
habitat for one of the highest densities of 
prcdatoiy birds in the world. Some earlier 
declines in predatory birds due to the impact of 
pesticides, human-caused mortality, capture, 
and vegetation conversion have been reversed. 
Some species, such as the Swainson's hawk, 
golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, burrowing owl, 
ferruginous hawk, peregrine falcon, and bald 
eagle, are showing increases. Loss of riparian 
vegetation and reduced prey forage continue to 
impact some predators (Collopy and Smith 1995). 
These predators help control gophers, ground 
squirrels, deer mice, and other small mammals. 
The introduction and expansion of exotic plants, 
such as cheatgrass, in selected habitats has 
played a key role in the establishment and 
expansion of an exotic game bird, the chukar. 
Conversion of native habitats to croplands, 
especially for grain crops, has also supported 
populations of the introduced Chinese pheasant. 

Mammals 

Seventy- three, or approximately half, of the 
mammal species in the planning area use 
rangeland ecosystems. Many small mammals 
rely on grassland ecosystems. Ground squirrels 
in the area tend to have many subspecies with 
very narrow distributions. Loss of native plants, 
poisoning, and soil compaction are impacting 
Washington ground squirrels and others by 
I'educing available habitat. Conversion to 
crested wheatgrass and exotic weed species, 
changes in fire intensity and frequency, and 
expansion of juniper woodlands have reduced the 
diversity and species richness of small mammals 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). 



Lowlands support a high diversity of bats, which 
typically roost in crevices and caves. Structures 
such as bridges, mines, and buildings have 
expanded roosting areas for bats, and may help 
offset human disturbance to bat habitat, such as 
exploration of caves and old mine shafts. Insect 
control efforts reduce prey for bats, who help 
control insect populations . Few bat populations 
have been monitored and their status is 
generally unknown. 

Big game species (for this discussion, elk, mule 
deer, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn sheep) 
have high social values, as indicated by the 
amount of money spent annually on wildlife 
related activities. Elk occupy some areas of the 
dry grass potential vegetation group, especially 
for winter range. White-tailed deer have 
benefitted from some human activities and have 
moved into grasslands in riparian corridors, 
shrubby riparian areas, and agricultural areas. 
Competition between livestock and big game has 
increased where winter ranges are in degraded 
condition. Livestock grazing management can 
benefit populations of big game by changing plant 
species composition, density, and vigor; 
providing additional water, salt, and nutrient 
sources; and inhibiting the spread of woody 
vegetation. Livestock grazing management can 
also have negative impacts on big game if 
livestock compete for forage and water, or 
increase the spread of disease. Forage 
competition can be reduced by managing the 
season of use, intensity of use, and the 
conversion of shrubs and forbs to annual grasses 
and other exotic species. Conversion of 
wintering areas to agriculture and urban growth 
can intensify conflicts with livestock and big 
game species on remaining undisturbed low 
elevation ranges (see the Livestock and Big 
Game Interactions section of this chapter for 
more information) . 

Many of the current high populations of some big 
game species can be partially attributed to 
access management programs to control the use 
of roads by hunters as well as to selective 
harvest strategies. Access management 
strategies among agencies to reduce the 
mortality associated with roads is common for 
elk management. Increases in the density and 
use of roads across the project area is a major 
factor in the human-caused mortality of all big 
game species (Lyon et al. 1995). 

There are many successful reintroductions of 
California bighorn sheep populations within the 



project area, but some sheep reintroductions 
have been unsuccessful and most historic 
populations have declined. Competition and 
disease transmitted from direct contact with 
domestic sheep, as well as changes in habitat are 
the primary causes for decline in bighorn sheep 
populations. The vaccination or removal of 
domestic sheep from direct contact with bighorn, 
has reversed their decline in some areas in the 
Northern Great Basin and Owyhee Uplands 
(ERU4andlO). 

Fire is an essential element in big game range, 
since it changes the composition and distribution 
of vegetation of all types. Fire also improves the 
palatability and nutritional value of forbs, 
grasses, and some shrubs, and increases early 
spring green-up, which is vital nutrition for 
pregnant animals. In contrast, fire suppression 
and a change in fire regimes because of exotic 
plant invasions have reduced the quality of many 
l3ig game habitats (Lyon etal. 1995). 

Carnivore (predator) populations have fluctuated 
in response to control efforts and changes in food 
availability. With the removal of gray wolf and 
grizzly bears from all but the higher elevation 
forest areas, coyotes, foxes, and skunks have 
increased. In some areas, packs of domestic 
dogs and wolf hybrids are causing increased 
predation and interbreeding with wild dogs. 
Mountain lion populations have been reduced in 
a few areas, especially where there is predation 
on livestock. Animal Damage Control, a 
government- sponsored program, as well as non- 
government sponsored activities such as sport 
hunting and trapping, can reduce local 
populations of mountain lions, coyotes, and 
other predators. However, there has been an 
overall increase in lions in the rural interface 
zone, causing concern for human safety. Any 
future decline in food supply, especially deer, 
rabbits, pronghorns, and ground squirrels, may 
cause more carnivores to move into areas with 
livestock grazing and human habitation 
(Martin etal. 1995). 

Herbivory, interspecies relations, and nutrient 
cycling are some key ecological functions of 
mammals. 



Dry Shrub 

Potential Vegetation Group 

Distribution 

The dry shrub potential vegetation group 
comprises 23 percent of the project area, 
compared to 30 percent historically. By 
comparison, this gi^oup makes up 28 percent of 
the planning area. Agriculture and urban 
development have decreased dry shrublands by 
approximately 30 percent on those lands not 
managed by the BLM or Forest Sei-vice; the two 
agencies together manage 54 percent of what 
remains of this group in the planning area. The 
majority of this potential vegetation group is 
distributed throughout the Northern Great Basin 
and Owyhee Uplands (ERUs 4 and 10). 

Composition and Structure 

As with the dr/ grassland potential vegetation 
group, dry shrublands are limited by low rainfall 
or shallow, rocky, or clay soils. Native plants are 
diverse, with many species of shrubs in patterns 
mbced with grasses, forbs, and reeds. Moisture 
falls primarily in the winter and spring, and most 
shrubs have deep roots that can tap moisture 
deep in the soil. Evergreen shrubs, such as 
sagebrush and juniper, continue to grow during 
winters with favorable moisture and ground 
temperatures, if there is adequate sunlight to 
allow photosynthesis. The patterns and 
composition of shrubs with trees, grasses, and 
forbs varied historically as climate and fire 
regimes changed. Historically, grasses and 
forbs covered 10 to 60 percent of dry 
shrublands; shrubs covered the remaining 40 
to 90 percent of the area. The patchy pattern 
of mixed shrub and grass areas tended to exist 
in rocky areas and rough terrain. Areas of 
gentle terrain and deeper soils tended to have 
more continuous patterns. 

Existing without fire for long periods, trees such 
as juniper and ponderosa pine, sometimes 
invaded dry shrublands. With frequent fire, 
grasses and forbs have an advantage because 
they respond quickly to non-lethal fires by 
sprouting fi-om bunchgrass root crowns, seeds, 
or runners whereas tree seedlings are easily 
killed by most fires. The mixed patterns of trees, 
shrubs, grasses, and forbs provided a variety of 
food and cover for animals. 



Historically, all fires in the dry shrub potential 
vegetation group were lethal to the dominant 
shrub overstory, with 75 percent occurring at 
25- to 75-year intervals. A fire-induced cycle 
between upland herb and shrub dominated 
stages was created, with no development of early 
and late serai woodlands. The current fire 
regime is still almost all lethal fires. However, 
fire frequency has increased to less than 25 
years in 74 percent of the area. This must be 
partially caused by the current dominance of 
exotic annual grasses in many locations. 

Because of fire suppression, improper livestock 
grazing, invasion of exotics, and conversion to 
agricultural and urban land use, the dry shrub 
group has gone through significant change. 
Exotics are common components in most plant 
communities of this group. Woodlands have not 
increased significantly. The most profound effect 
is the general change in composition and 
structure within the upland shrub and herb 
plant communities as a result of heavy early- 
season or season-long livestock grazing and 
seeding to perennial exotic grasses, especially 
crested wheatgrass . 

When averaged for the entire dry shrub potential 
vegetation group, the current fire regime has not 
changed much from the historical regime. 
However, fire frequency has increased in locations 
where exotic annual grasses have invaded. 

The native grazing regime appears to have varied 
from relatively high intensity, short duration 
grazing by herds of native ungulates (hoofed 
animals) , to low intensity grazing by scattered 
native ungulates, to seasonal, moderate levels of 
grazing by groups of similar native animals. 
Grazing was strongly influenced by seasonal 
weather. Grasslands, shrublands, and 
woodlands were historically mosaics of habitats 
which were not influenced to any great extent by 
hoofed animals until horses, and later cattle and 
sheep, were introduced less than 300 years ago 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). 

Certain areas were identified in the AEC as being 
inhabited by several rare species and/or species 
which have very limited distribution (narrow 
endemics). These areas, shown on Map 2-6, 
include dry shrubland habitats in central 
Washington. Only small areas exist on BLM- 
administered lands, although many species 
require these remnant habitat blocks. Important 
habitat also includes some of the dry shrublands 



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in the Northern Great Basin and Owyhee Uplands 
(ERUs 4 and 10). These not only contain 
remnant habitat areas on BLM- and Forest 
Service-administered lands, but also have 
thermal hot springs, potholes, lava flows, caves, 
alkali lakes, and other habitat features. There 
are also important habitat areas in the canyons 
and uplands surrounding the Lower Snake River 
on the border between Oregon and Idaho. This 
area has remnant dry shrublands and perennial 
grasslands on BLM-administered lands, but is 
also on the convergence of the Great Basin, 
Klamath, Cascade, and Rocky Mountain species 
ranges. The Snake River Canyon creates unique 
microsites (small, local variations in habitat) and 
acts as a corridor to some species moving in the 
canyon, and a barrier to others trying to cross it. 

Areas with relatively intact native populations of 
species were also identified in the AEC. Dry 
shrublands in central Washington are included 
because they represented some of the last 
relatively undisturbed shrub habitat protected 
from agriculture and grazing. These areas are 
currently the site of the U.S. Department of 
Energy Hanford Reservation and the Yakima 
Firing Range. Lower Snake River uplands are 
also in this category because of the high number 
of native species that live there. The Steens 
Mountains and other patches of dry shrublands 
in the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) are included 
as remnant habitat patches, some of which are 
on BLM-administered lands or wildlife refuges 
(U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service). These areas 
represent sources of species and seeds to 
recolonize neighboring habitat areas as they 
recover, as well as important areas for research 
and monitoring controls. 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in 
Dry and Cool Shrublands 

The descriptions of terrestrial species and 
habitats in dry and cool shrublands have been 
combined for ease of discussion. Most of the 
species that exist in dry shrublands also exist in 
cool shrublands, and move between them based 
on annual weather and climate changes. An 
example may be a species that needs shrubs for 
nesting such as the Brewer's sparrow. This 
species will not nest in trees or on the ground in 
grasslands, but can be located in both the dry 
and cool shrubland potential vegetation groups. 
Some information from the SER Model can 



separate species within these two shrubland 
habitat groupings. This separation will be 
apparent where appropriate. 

Amphibians 

The primary need for most amphibians is 
seasonal and permanent wetland habitat, which 
is a limiting factor in dry shrublands. 
Salamander diversity is low, with three species, 
and probably always was in dry shrublands of 
the project area. Frog diversity is higher, with 
six frog species and two toad species in the 
project area. The cooler climate of cool 
shrublands limits amphibians. Two species of 
salamanders are found in cool shrublands, and 
have probably always been rare. 

Birds 

There are 93 bird species known to inhabit dry 
and cool shrublands, which increases to 132 if 
riparian and wetland areas are included. Birds 
that use riparian areas within dry shrublands, 
such as MacGillivray's warbler, killdeer, olive- 
sided flycatcher, willow flycatcher. Brewer's 
blackbird, western meadowlark, and Lazuli 
bunting, have increased, indicating some 
recovery in riparian systems. Northern flicker, 
house wren, mountain bluebird, American robin, 
and grey flycatcher have increasing trends in 
population, partly due to expansion in juniper 
woodland habitat (Collopy and Smith 1995). 

The decline in species such as sage grouse, and 
Brewer's and sage sparrows can be attributed to 
changes in shrubland structure, abundance, and 
distribution. Habitat is becoming more and more 
disjunct (areas have become isolated from each 
other), and blocks of habitat are becoming 
smaller islands. Changes in riparian, wetland, 
and native grassland habitats are also linked to 
some species declines. Loss of grass and shrub 
cover, and loss of structural diversity, have 
significantly reduced plant and insect forage, 
nesting habitat, and hiding cover for several 
species, including declines in sage grouse, 
sharp-tail grouse, upland sandpipers, mountain 
quail, and grasshopper sparrows. The expansion 
and increased density of juniper woodlands has 
caused the deterioration of sagebrush and 
grassland habitats, which appears to have 
affected the rock wren and chipping sparrow 
(Collopy and Smith 1995). 



Sage grouse populations once common in eastern 
Oregon and Washington are in decline. There 
has been at least a 60 percent decline in their 
population in Oregon since 1940. Sage grouse 
need grass, forbs, and insects, especially in the 
spring when they raise their young (Collopy and 
Smith 1995), as well as sagebrush for cover. 

Mammals 

Seventy-two species of mammals use the dry and 
cool shrub potential vegetation group (SER 
Model) . Many small mammals rely on the 
sagebrush steppe and grassland ecosystems. 
Several ground squirrels in the area have 
subspecies with very limited distributions. Loss 
of native plants, rodent poisoning, and soil 
compaction are affecting several species such as 
Washington ground squirrels, pygmy rabbits, 
and white-tailed jackrabbits. The pygmy rabbit 
is considered a special status species; it is in 
rapid decline. Remnant areas of shrub steppe 
vegetation are critical to its survival. Conversion 
to crested wheatgrass, extensive planting of 
introduced grasses (840,000 acres in Oregon and 
Washington east of the Cascades) and 
introduction of exotic weed species changes fire 
intensity and frequency. Increased density of 
juniper woodlands has reduced sagebrush and 
bunchgrass understoiy. This may reduce the 
habitat diversity and species richness of small 
mammals in dry and cool shrublands (Collopy 
and Smith 1995). 

Approximately 66 species of mammals use cool 
shrublands (SER Model) . Conversion to 
agriculture, invasion of exotic weed species, 
changes in fire intensity and frequency, and 
expansion and increasing density of juniper 
woodlands may negatively affect some small 
mammals (Collopy and Smith 1995). Bushy- 
tailed woodrats, yellow-bellied marmots, 
northern pocket gophers, and deer mice are 
common mammals that provide food for 
predatory birds and mammals, and help 
distribute seeds and spores of plants. 
Porcupines use cool shrublands extensively; 
they help limit the invasion of conifers and other 
trees into this type. 

Like most native big game species, populations 
of pronghorn were decimated by unregulated 
hunting between 1850 and 1920. Since then 
populations have increased because of regulated 
hunting and improved range conditions. 
Improper fencing is not compatible with 



wmw "'"I'mfim 



pronghorn movements. The loss of habitat, fire 
suppression, increase in coyotes and dogs, 
transportation systems, huixLan habitation, and 
improper livestock grazing have affected 
available pronghorn habitat (Lyon et al. 1995). 
The population of this lowland species has 
become more disjunct (isolated from each other), 
and blocks of habitat are becoming Islands. 

Populations of bobcats and other fur-bearing 
species appear to be increasing with reductions 
in the demand for their fur. Bobcats have an 
important interaction with black-tailed 
jackrabbits and cottontail rabbits in the shrub 
steppe areas, and may help to reduce crop 
damage during periods of highjackrabbit 
population cycles (Collopy and Smith 1995). In 
some areas, packs of domestic dogs and wolf- or 
coyote-hybrids are causing increased damage to 
livestock and big game herds. 

For more information on terrestrial species, see 
the Dry Grasslands Potential Vegetation Group 
section of this chapter. 

Cool Shrub 

Potential Vegetation Group 

Distribution 

The cool shrub potential vegetation group 
occupies only eight percent of the project area, 
compared to nine percent historically. By 
comparison, this group makes up seven percent 
of the planning ai'ca. The cool shrub potential 
vegetation group has declined by approximately 
1 1 percent as a result of agriculture and urban 
development on lands not managed by the Forest 
Service or BLM; these two agencies together 
manage 47 percent of what remains of this group 
in the planning area. This potential vegetation 
group is found in nearly all ecological reporting 
units, but the majority is distributed throughout 
the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4), Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6), and Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10). 

Composition and Structure 

The cool shrub potential vegetation group is 
represented by mountain big sagebrush and 
mountain shrub potential vegetation types. This 
group is generally limited by shorter growing 
seasons and a lack of late summer moisture. 
Soils are often shallow, rocky, or high in clay 
content, which limits soil moisture and 



encroachment of trees in some areas. 
Historically, cool shrublands had fairly short 
cycles of dominance by either grasses and forbs 
or by shrub species. 

This group departs to a high degree from 
historical succession and disturbance regimes. 
The leading causes of this departure relate to 
improper livestock grazing, changes in fire 
regimes, and exotic forb and grass dominance. 
This results in lower productivity, higher 
probability of severe or chaotic events, and less 
similarity to the temporal, spatial, and habitat 
diversity of the native system (for example, 
noxious weed encroachment). Where declines 
have occurred, the large dominant bunchgrasses 
have usually been replaced by smaller 
bunchgrasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, 
native forbs, and exotic forbs and grasses. 
Woodlands have increased to cover 25 to 30 
percent of cool shrublands, and upland grass and 
forb areas have almost been lost, with only 4 
percent remaining. 

Historically, approximately 7 1 percent of fires in 
this type were lethal to the dominant shrub 
overstory, with 38 percent occurring at intervals 
of 26 to 75 years. Mixed severity fires accounted 
for approximately 27 percent of burned acreage, 
mostly at 76- to 1 50-year intervals. Grasses and 
forbs covered 10 to 40 percent of the cool shrub, 
and shrubs covered the remaining 60 to 80 
percent, depending on the occurrence of fire. 
Conifers occupied approximately three to ten 
percent of the area of the cool shrub potential 
vegetation group. 

The current fire regime is 52 percent lethal fires, 
at 26- to 75-year intervals. Mixed severity fires 
have increased to 46 percent, reflecting the 
decrease in grass and forb dominated stages, and 
the increase in woodlands. The most significant 
invading conifer is western juniper, particularly 
in the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4), Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6), and Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10). 

Terrestrial Species and Habitats in 
Cool Shrublands 

This discussion parallels that found under 
Terrestrial Species and Habitats in Dry and Cool 
Shrublands. Refer to that discussion for specific 
details on cool shrublands species and habitats. 



^J/ill*!:'/'!','-' 



Disturbance Processes 
and Patterns 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
subsection is derived primarily from Leonard 
andKarietal. 1995a, 1995b. 

Major elements that influence rangeland vegetation 
include: (1) livestock greizing, (2) fire and fire 
suppression, (3) introduction of noxious weeds, 
exotic plants, and non-native forage grasses, (4) 
soils and their productivity, and (5) climate. These 
elements act together to create vegetation patterns 
seen on the landscape. Although vegetation in the 
project area has always been grazed by herbivores, 
the introduction of large numbers of livestock into 
the region in the late 1 800s subjected the vegetation 
to stresses it had not adapted to. Fire, sometimes 
famiing out over large expanses of rangeland, 
occurred frequentlybefore the arrival of Europeans. 
The introduction of livestock resulted in 
consumption of a portion of the vegetation that had 
provided fuel for fires. Fire frequency declined as a 
result of this and of subsequent fire suppression 
efforts. Plant communities formerly composed of 
native species are now being converted in many 
areas to exotic weed species. Most of these exotic 
weed species require disturbance to become 
established, but once established they will often 
displace native species. 

Soils and their productivity are integral to 
productivity of rangeland plants, and to plant 
composition within communities. Soil 
productivity depends both on soil (for example, 
depth, texture, and supply of nutrients) and non- 
soil (for example, slope and rainfall) factors. 
These factors vary greatly across rangclands. 
Certain rangeland soils are fertile, but because of 
low rainfall are not highlyproductive for 
vegetation. Some rangeland soils are shallow and 
do not retain water for long periods of time, thus 
are not highly productive either (see the Physical 
Environment section for more information on 
soils and climate). 

Climate, especially drought, is a frequent but 
unpredictable force that plays a significant role 
in the pattern, composition, and structure of 
vegetation. The effects of livestock grazing, fire 
or its suppression, exotic plants, soils and their 
productivity, and other factors that alter 
vegetation are only fully understood if climate is 
considered, because climate governs the full 
response ofvegetation. 



Lives took Grazi ng 

Rangeland vegetation in the project area adapted 
to relatively light grazing pressure compared to 
the vegetation of current times. Although large 
herbivores were present in the project area 
prehistorically, there are no accurate estimates 
of prehistoric population sizes ofvarious 
herbivores and their distributions on the land, 
especially compared to historical and current 
livestock numbers and distributions. Historical 
and prehistorical herbivory, as proposed by 
Burkhardt ( 1 994) , were strongly influenced by 
seasonal weather. Under this scenario, low 
elevation valleys were grazed in winter. 
Herbivores moved to higher elevations in spring 
with the growth of herbaceous species, 
permitting regrowth in the lower elevations in 
spring and early summer, and fuel accumulation 
for periodic summer fire. The animals then 
moved back to lower elevations in fall. 

Horses were introduced by humans 
approximately 300 years ago, and cattle and 
sheep were introduced later when extensive 
settlement of the West began. Unlike wildlife 
species, livestock do not migrate. Livestock 
tend to stay in place as long as they have food, 
water, and other needs: this can damage 
vegetation, soils, streams, and other resources. 



Rangeland Vegetation 
Successional Models 

Current scientific thinking regarding livestock 
grazing pressure and its relation to vegetation 
succession typically falls into two general 
categories of models. The first, older model of 
vegetation succession is the traditional "climax" 
model. The second, more recent model is the 
"state and transition model." The climax model 
asserts that reduction or elimination of livestock 
grazing pressure will permit improvement in 
rangeland vegetation through secondary 
succession. Range scientists are beginning to 
accumulate convincing evidence, however, that 
not all rangeland vegetation types respond 
according to the climax model. Relatively new, 
multiplestablemodels, of which the "state and 
transition" model ofvegetation succession 
(regarded by Laycock [1 994]), is most useful, 
have been proposed as equally effective on 
many arid and semiarid rangeland vegetation 
types. See Appendix 2-2 for a more detailed 
discussion of these two models. 



'^ 






Current land ownership patterns and grazing 
permits (forage allocations on grazing 
allotments) add complications that make it 
difficult for livestock to move seasonally and 
graze rangelands as they probably were grazed 
historically. The sedentary behavior currently 
observed of livestock in riparian areas would 
have been discouraged in wild herbivore 
populations by the abundance of predators. 

Grazing management in the project area has been 
guided by principles of the climax model during 
the 20th century. Potential vegetation types on 
rangelands in the project area that best fit this 
model of successional advancement of vegetation 
include: (1) all riparian types (willow/ sedge, 
saltbrush riparian, mountain riparian low shrub, 
riparian graminoid, riparian sedge, cottonwood 
riverine, and aspen), (2) grasslands, (such as 
agropyron steppe, fescue grassland, and fescue 
grassland with conifer), (3) cool shrub types 
(such as mountain big sagebrush, and 
mountain shrubs), and (4) open ponderosa 
pine-grassland types (such as interior 
ponderosa pine) . There are exceptions within 
these types where improvement may not be 
observed, especially in cases of extreme past 
grazing abuse, noxious weed invasion, and 
within drier portions of these vegetation types 
that are adjacent to even drier vegetation 
types, such as Wyoming big sagebrush. 

Vegetation succession and vegetation types do 
not necessarily parallel changes in livestock 
grazing pressure. For example, arid and 
semiarid potential vegetation types on 
rangelands can remain stable at a successional 
stage lower than climax for long periods of time 
after reduction or elimination of livestock grazing 
pressure. These vegetation types apparently fit 
the state and transition model better than the 
climax model. Examples of these potential 
vegetation types include dry sagebrush steppe 
with or without Juniper (Basin big sagebrush, 
Wyoming big sagebrush, and low sagebrush), and 
salt desert shrub. 

In much of the project area, past livestock 
grazing pressure probably has contributed to an 
increased dominance of sagebrush species and 
encroachment or increased dominance ofjuniper 
(Archer 1994). This occurs thi'ough the 
modification of microclimate, plant competitive 
interactions, soil fertility, and fire frequency and 
severity caused by livestock consumption of 
grasses and forbs that act as fuel. Reduction or 



elimination of livestock grazing pressure will not 
necessarily convert dominance by woody plants 
to dominance by grasses and forbs, especially on 
sites with dense woody plant cover and sparse 
grass and forb understory. Adjustments in 
livestock grazing pressure or rest from livestock 
grazing can, however, result in improved soil 
stability, soil water levels, and nutrient levels, 
especially on sites that have yet to reach a peak 
in woody plant cover. In the project area, an 
example of increased dominance by woody plants 
is the expansion of western Juniper, most notably 
in the Upper Klamath Basin (ERU 3), Northern 
Great Basin (ERU 4), Columbia Plateau (ERU 5), 
Blue Mountains (ERU 6), and Owyhee Uplands 
(ERU 10). 

Some potential vegetation types, especially 
Wyoming big sagebrush and more recently salt 
desert shrub, are susceptible to invasion by 
exotic annual grasses such as cheatgrass and 
medusahead, which are flammable. If these 
exotics dominate a site, a deceptively stable 
vegetation state results, because these 
flammable exotics create fire-return intervals as 
low as five years, which does not permit 
perennial grasses or shrubs to establish and 
produce seed, even if a seed source is nearby. 
Reduction or elimination of livestock grazing 
pressure can make the situation worse by 
allowing grass and forb plant material to 
accumulate and provide fine fuels for fire. These 
conditions of flammable exotics are found in the 
more arid portions of the planning area, 
especially the Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10). 

Achieving the goal of sustaining the rangeland 
resource by grazing management should involve 
stocking rates (number of cows on a site) and 
grazing intensities compatible with drought 
frequency and magnitude. Flexibility within 
grazing systems is required as part of any 
grazing strategy intended to prevent rangeland 
vegetation from becoming more degraded, 
especially because of climate variability on 
rangelands. In this regard, maintaining stocking 
rates at near-normal levels during moderate to 
severe drought is probably the greatest cause of 
range deterioration (Vallentine 1990). 

The potential for drought- related damage to 
rangelands in the project area is high, especially 
in dry shrublands such as Wyoming sagebrush 
sites in the Northern Great Basin and Owyhee 
Uplands (ERUs 4 and 10). Drought-related 
degradation is a concern on BLM-administered 






, ,'^!ti!,^, ,^^\<^:" 



lands where livestock are normally already out 
on the range before it is realized that a drought is 
in effect. By the time a drought is inevitable, 
livestock have been out on the range for months, 
and the ability for most livestock operators to 
round up their cattle and take them to another 
area or home is limited. Therefore, much effort 
has been taken to try and accommodate cattle on 
BLM-administered lands, which increases the 
potential for drought-related damage to the diy 
shrubland types. Reduced grazing intensities 
during drought and for some time after drought 
are necessary to minimize damage and hasten 
recovery of perennial vegetation. 

For a more detailed discussion of livestock 
grazing in riparian areas, see the Aquatic 
Ecosystems section of this chapter. 

Changes in Fire Regimes 

Alterations in natural fire regimes have greatly 
influenced the distribution, composition, and 
structure of rangeland vegetation. In many 
locations, the frequency of fire has decreased 
because of fire suppression and removal of 
carrier fine fuels (grasses) by livestock grazing. 
Changes resulting from decreased fire 
frequency include (1) encroachment of conifers 
(for example, ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir) 
into non-forested vegetation at the forest- 
steppe boundaries; (2) increased tree density 
in former savanna-like stands of Juniper and 
ponderosa pine; and (3) increased density and/ 
or coverage of big sagebrush and other shrubs, 
with an accompanying loss of herbaceous 
vegetation. In contrast, fire frequency has 
increased in other areas, particularly in drier 
locations where exotic annual grasses such as 
cheatgrass have become established. These 
changes in the fire regime have caused greater 
homogeneity of many landscapes. 

Increased fire frequency has caused a loss of 
shrub cover, particularly sagebrush and 
bitterbrush, and a reduction in bunchgrasses. 
At the same time, frequent fire has favored 
dominance by exotic annual grasses. More fuel 
for fires accumulates under encroaching 
shrubs and trees, or in grasslands where fires 
have been suppressed and grazing has not 
helped remove the buildup in plant material. 
This added fuel makes it more likely that 
future fires will be lethal and will kill the root 
crowns of bunchgrasses, which will make it 
easier for exotic species, annuals, and pines to 
displace native grasses. 



In dry grasslands where fire has typically been 
absent, shrubs are more competitive than 
grasses, in part because shrubs have deeper 
root systems than grasses, allowing them to tap 
soil moisture in dry years. When dry grassland 
sites are invaded by shrubs or trees, soil 
characteristics and nutrient cycling that 
developed under grassland ecosystems are 
disrupted. Cover on the soil (vegetation and 
litter) also decreases, which in turn exposes 
more soil to erosion. Improper livestock grazing 
of remaining grasses and forbs can further 
expose the soil, and erosion by wind and water 
can lead to permanent gully formation and 
changes in water tables. 

Noxious Weeds, Exotics, and 

Introduced Forage Grasses 

Noxious Weeds 

Noxious weeds can reduce the diversity and 
abundance of native vegetation, forage, diversity 
and quality of wildlife habitat, increase erosion, 
and decrease water quality. The beginning of 
agriculture, including livestock grazing in the 
project area, permitted introduction of seeds 
from exotic plants onto rangelands. The 
establishment and spread of these species is 
fostered by disturbance to the soil surface. 
Noxious weeds, in general, are opportunists and 
are typically prolific producers of seed. These 
seeds are usually dispersed by vehicles, wind, 
wildlife, livestock, water, machinery, and pack 
animals, often over long distances. They are 
commonly referred to as "pioneer" species 
because after a disturbance to the soil surface 
which results in loss of the native plant cover, 
they are often the first species to arrive and 
colonize. They typically germinate under a wide 
variety of conditions, show fast seedling growth, 
and thus establish quickly and take up water 
and nutrients that are then not available for 
native species. Some noxious weed species, 
however, currently are showing an ability to 
invade relatively undisturbed sites as well, 
including wilderness areas. Some of the densest 
infestations of noxious weeds are near roads, 
which provide a route for the spread of noxious 
weeds by human-related actions, and for an 
increase in the exposed bare ground. 

Many noxious weeds are already present on 
rangelands in nearly every county of the project 
area [Landscape Dynamics [Hann et al. 1996] 
chapter of the AEC) . These weeds include bull 
thistle, Canada thistle, dalmatian toadflax. 



W&mMM«mMl 



diffuse knapweed, hoary cress (whitetop), leafy 
spurge, musk thistle, Russian knapweed, Scotch 
thistle, spotted knapweed, yellow starthistle, and 
yellow toadflax. Many of these same weeds are 
also a problem in forested areas, as discussed in 
the Forestlands section of this chapter. 
Rangeland cover types are plant communities 
characterized by existing vegetation on the area. 
Thus these cover types represent the vegetation 
on the ground, and are useful for land managers 
and others who are interested in searching for 
and controlling infestations of these weeds. 
Rangeland cover types (plant communities) in the 
project area that have declined in area from 
historical to current times, partly because of the 
invasion of noxious weeds, can be found in Table 
2-14. Weeds that are relatively recent 
invaders, or that soon will be new invaders of 
rangelands in the project area, and are of 
critical concern to weed experts, include but 
are not limited to: Syrian bean-caper, African 
rue, Iberian starthistle, purple starthistle. 
distaff thistle, squarrose knapweed, 
camelthorn, saltcedar, and matgrass. 

Dewey etal. (1991) proposed that "The 
precision and usefulness of federal weed 
control Environmental Assessment (EA) and 
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) 
documents would be significantly improved by 
knowing the exact location and extent of lands 
vulnerable to specific noxious weeds." In this 
regard, a measure of the susceptibility of 
rangeland cover types to invasion by 25 weed 
species (24 noxious weeds plus cheatgrass) is 
presented in Karl etal. (1995) along with 
regional (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, 
and Wyoming) distribution maps of these 25 
species at the county scale. The county maps 
show the distribution of each species over the 
past 121 years (1875 to 1995). The 
susceptibility of rangeland cover types to 
invasion by noxious weeds and cheatgrass was 
coded and defined as follows: 

(1) Disturbed = moderate susceptibility- 
cover type is susceptible to invasion by 
weed species following disturbance that 
affects the soil surface or removes the 
canopy cover: 

(2) Invasive = high susceptibility ~ cover type 
is susceptible to invasion by weed species 
even in the absence of disturbance; 

(3) Closed = negligible susceptibility ~ cover 
type does not provide suitable habitat for 
the weed species to typically invade; and 



(4) Unknown- negligible susceptibility- data 
were insufficient to allow a determination 
of susceptibility. 

Tables A and B (see Appendix 2-2) display 
information on susceptibilities of rangeland cover 
types, for the use of land managers and the 
concerned public. These rangeland cover types 
are described in Table B and are recognized by 
the Society for Range Management. The 
rangeland cover types coded as moderate or high 
susceptibility in Table A are what are referred to 
in the standards for noxious weeds in Chapter 3. 
I nformation fromTables A and B is summarized 
here in Table 2-15. Table 2-15 shows, for each of 
the 15 selected noxious weed species assessed 
in Karl et al. (1995), the rangeland cover types 
that are most susceptible to invasion. 

Specific location of and current acreage 
information for noxious weeds is not available 
for the project area. In addition, 
susceptibilities of rangeland cover types to 
each weed, in Table A, will require further 
revision as more knowledge becomes available. 
Predicting noxious weed distributions in the 
future requires knowledge of specifically what 
rangeland cover types are susceptible to 
invasion by each weed and where these types 
are on the landscape, in relation to where the 
noxious weeds are currently distributed. 

Noxious weed control on BLM- or Forest Service- 
administered lands has generally been ineffective. 
Limited budgets, lack of consistency and 
coordination by all concerned entities (private, 
county, state, and federal), and an inability to get 
ahead of the weed problem have allowed noxious 
weeds to continue to spread throughout the 
project area. Control methodshave focused on 
mechanical and chemical efforts, usually along 
major roads and right-of-ways, as funding allows. 
Both large and small noxious weed infestations 
have been the focus of efforts in the past, mostly 
treated through contracts with counties. In 
some cases, noxious weeds are treated by 
qualified federal agency personnel from the 
administering agencies. 

The least expensive, most effective, and highest 
priority weed management technique is 
prevention, especially prevention of new 
infestations of noxious weeds andestablishment of 
new exotic weeds not currently residing in the 
region. The magnitude and complexity of noxious 
weeds on rangelands in the project area, 
combined with their cost of control, necessitates 
using Integrated Weed Management. Integrated 



Table 2-14. Rangeland Cover Types in the Project Area. 



Potential 
Vegetation Group 



Rangeland Cover Type 



Noxious Weeds 



Dry Grass 



Agropyron Bunchgrass 



Dry Grass 
Dry Shrub 

Dry Shrub 
Riparian Herb 



Fescue-Bunchgrass 

Antelope Bitterbrush- 
Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Big Sagebrush 



Herbaceous Wetlands 



Riparian Shrub 



Shrub Wetlands 



diffuse knapweed, spotted 
knapweed, yellow starthistle, rush 
skeletonweed, sulfur cinquefoil, 
medusahead, Dyers woad, 
dalmatian toadflax, yellow 
toadflax, common crupina 

spotted knapweed, leafy spurge, 
sulfur cinquefoil, oxeye daisy 

diffuse knapweed, cheatgrass', 
dalmatian toadflax, rush 
skeletonweed, sulfur cinquefoil 

cheatgrass', medusahead, diffuse 
knapweed, rush skeletonweed, 
dalmatian toadflax. Dyers woad, 
Mediterranean sage, yellow starthistle 

Kentucky bluegrass', Canada 
thistle, purple loosestrife, leafy 
spurge, saltcedar, musk thistle, 
Russian knapweed, spotted 
knapweed, Scotch thistle, yellow 
starthistle, hoary cress (whitetop), 
Mediterranean sage 

Canada thistle, leafy spurge, 
musk thistle, purple loosestrife, 
saltcedar, Russian knapweed, 
Mediterranean sage 



This table shows rangeland cover types (plant communities) that have declined in the project area from historic to 
current, partially because of invasions of noxious weeds listed in column 3. Column 1 lists the associated 
potential vegetation groups within which each cover type resides . 

' Not legally declared noxious in eastern Oregon and Washington. 

Source: Hann et al. (1996). 



Weed Management involves the use of several 
control techniques in a well-planned, coordinated, 
and organized program to reduce the impact of 
weeds on rangelands. This strategy, discussed in 
more detail in Appendix 2-2, is proposed in 
Chapter 3 for implementation of noxious weed 
control efforts in the project area. 

Exotic Vegetation 

Altered sagebrush steppe represents a 
landscape where the invasion of exotic (non- 
native) annual grasses and forbs into some 
sagebrush communities has resulted in plant 
communities where native perennial plants are 
lacking and annuals dominate the site (Based on 



Pellant 1995). Past overgrazing of the perennial 
grasses and forbs in these sagebrush 
communities made these areas more susceptible 
to invasion from exotic annuals such as 
cheatgrass, medusahead, Russian thistle, and 
mustards. As the annuals increased in these 
communities, so did the fire frequency. Where 
these sagebrush communities would normally 
burn every 25 to 100 years in the past, they now 
can burn every 5 years as a result of the 
dominance of annuals. This short-duration fire 
cycle, in combination with overgrazing, reduces 
the presence of perennial plants in the 
community and increases the dominance of annual 
plants. In addition, adjacent areas susceptible to 
invasion from annuEils can also bum, which 






Table 2-15. Noxious Weeds in the Project Area. 



Noxious Weed 



Rangeland Cover Types Most Susceptible to Invasion^ 



Bull Thistle 



Canada Thistle 



Dalmatian Toadflax 



Cheatgrass 



Dyers Woad 



Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Threadleaf Sedge 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Riparian 

Alpine Idaho Fescue 

Aspen Woodland 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Tufted Hairgrass 

Riparian 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Tufted Hairgrass-Sedge 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Curlleaf Mountain Mahogany 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Antelope Bitterbrush-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Antelope Bitterbrush-Idaho Fescue 

Bitterbrush-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Big Sagebrush-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Big Sagebrush-Idaho Fescue 

Big Sagebrush-Rough Fescue 

Bitterbrush-Idaho Fescue 

Bitterbrush-Rough Fescue 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Mountain Big Sagebrush 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Basin Big Sagebrush 

Big Sagebrush-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Big Sagebrush-Idaho Fescue 

Big Sagebrush- Rough Fescue 

Bittercherry 

Black Sagebrush 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 






Table 2-15. Noxious Weeds in the Project Area (continued). 



Noxious Weed 



Rangeland Cover Types Most Susceptible to Invasion^ 



Halogeton 
Leaiy Spurge 



Mediterranean Sage 



MuskThistle 



Orange Hawkweed 
Purple Lx)osestrife 
Spotted Knapweed 



Bluegrass Scabland 

Chokecheriy-Servicebeny-Rose 

Crested Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Threadleaf Sedge 

Low Sagebrush 

Mountain Big Sagebrush 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Snowbrush 

Stiff Sagebrush 

Threetip Sagebrush 

Threetip Sagebrush-Idaho Fescue 

Wyoming Big Sagebrush 

Salt Desert Shmb 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Riparian 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Curlleaf Mountain-Mahogany 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Wyoming Big Sagebrush 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Threadleaf Sedge 

Riparian 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Tufted Hairgrass-Sedge 

IRiparian 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue -Tufted Halrgrass 

Riparian 



Sj, ,„,J''ii"iAi^,A''^'i£i^ ' 



Noxious Weed 



Rangeland Cover T3rpes Most Susceptible to Invasion^ 



Squarrose P&iapweed 
Sulfur Cinquefoil 



Yellow Starthistle 



Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 
Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 
Tufted Hairgrass-Sedge 

Crested Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Slender Wheatgrass 

Idaho Fescue-Threadleaf Sedge 

Idaho Fescue-Tufted Hairgrass 

Rough Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Rough Fescue-Idaho Fescue 

Tufted Hairgrass-Sedge 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass 

Bluebunch Wheatgrass-Sandberg Bluegrass 

Curlleaf Mountain-Mahogany 

Idaho Fescue 

Idaho Fescue-Bluebunch Wheatgrass 



' Society for Range Management cover types listed in Shiflet ( 1 994) . 
Source: Summai-ized from Appendix 2-2 and Marcot et al. ( 1 996) . 



expands the size of tlie annual-dominated 
rangeland. Invasion of annuals is most serious in 
the Columbia Plateau and Owyhee Uplands (ERUs 
5 and 1 0) , where cheatgrass has literally taken 
over some range sites. 

Cheatgrass is an annual grass that was probably 
introduced to western rangeland via 
contaminated grain from Europe in the late 
1890s. Currently, cheatgrass exists in every 
county within the project area. Given its high 
seed production and highly germinable seed, 
cheatgrass is a successful intruder of native 
plant communities that are under stress or 
have been disturbed. The litter and standing 
dead material produced by cheatgrass makes 
up a flammable fuel that results in more 
frequent wildfires compared with fire frequency 
prior to the arrival of Europeans. As a result 
of frequent fire, (1) critical big game winter 
range and habitat supporting North America's 
densest concentration of nesting raptors has 
been reduced, (2) native sensitive plant species 
are threatened, (3) native plant diversity is 
reduced at both the local and landscape scale, 
and (4) recovery periods are extended. 



Cheatgrass has adapted to the post-fire environment 
and uses the abundant nutrients and soU water to 
establish an environment that is less favorable to 
perennial plants. Cheatgrass has adapted to many 
commuiiities including low elevation salt desert 
shrub and higher elevation ponderosa pine. 
Populations of cheatgrass also differ genetically, 
which contributes to the evolution of specialized 
types adapted to different environments. The 
"cheatgrass-wUdfire cycle" presents the greatest risk 
to the Wyoming big sagebrush portion of the big 
sagebrush cover type and to the more moist salt 
desert shrub plant communities within the salt 
desert shnjb cover type. 

During the growing season for cheatgrass (from 
fall to June of the following year), it can produce 
more plant material than native vegetation or 
seeded forage wheatgrass species; however, the 
variability from year to year associated with 
production of cheatgrass is greater than native or 
introduced perennial grasses. The period when 
its material is palatable and nutritious for 
herbivores is considerably shorter than with 
native perennial species on rangelands. 



,.m. 



Once established, cheatgrass can inhibit the 
growth of perennial plants native to the site, 
thereby perpetuating the cheatgrass fire cycle 
and causing depletion of volatile nutrients and 
accelerated soil erosion. Livestock grazing can 
reduce the amount of cheatgrass on the range 
and thus the spread of fire, because if cheatgrass 
is grazed down in the spring, less cheatgrass is 
available to burn later. However, it is not 
desirable to allow continuous spring grazing, 
which may cause a further decrease of native 
perennial grasses. Once native perennial 
grasses are lacking to the point of being only 
remnants on the site, then methods involving 
seeding would be the only recourse if the 
objective is to use perennial plants to re- 
establish rangeland function. 

Cheatgrass continues to expand, including into 
forests and deserts. Although once established 
it tends to form a stable state, with frequent fire 
maintaining the stand, even less desirable weeds 
such as medusahead and yellowstar thistle are 
now invading cheatgrass-dominated rangelands 
and are further degrading site potential. This 
scenario places even more urgency on controlling 
or rehabilitating cheatgrass rangelands. 

Introduced Forage Grasses 

Introduced forage grasses (Based on Miles and 
Karl 1995a.) are grasses that were not native to 
the project area, which have been introduced 
primarily through seeding, typically for the 
purposes of forage production and soil 
protection. Environmental and site conditions 
including climate, geomorphology, soil type, 
salinity, slope, aspect, seed sources, existing 
vegetation, human impacts, and management 
determine the fate of a plant species on a site. 
Plants are most competitive in environments 
where they are best adapted, and 
competitiveness declines as the environment 
becomes less favorable. At the extreme, even the 
most "aggressive" of plants do not exist in areas 
outside their tolerance limits. 

Rangeland damage has prompted management 
decisions to plant introduced forage grasses. In 
arid regions, hydrology is altered, soils erode, 
and soil and nutrient processes are impaired 
when the vegetative cover is removed. In the 
absence of native species that are adapted to 
human-altered environments, the planting of 
introduced forage grasses can help to stabilize 
soils, provide forage for livestock and wildlife, 
and preserve ecosystem processes in general. 



The introduction of forage grasses creates 
biodiversity concerns. Certain seeded species 
(such as crested wheatgrass. the intermediate- 
pubescent wheatgrass complex, Kentucky 
bluegrass, hard fescue, and orchardgrass) have 
become established as monocultures in 
situations where all competing vegetation was 
removed before seeding, and no other well- 
adapted species, such as noxious weeds, are 
present that potentially would encroach and take 
over the new seeding. Therefore, if vegetation 
has been removed by fire, grazing, or cultural 
practices before seeding of introduced forage 
grasses, the likelihood is increased that a 
monoculture will form as a result of the seeding. 
In general, there is little likelihood that the 
introduced forage grasses themselves would 
encroach into undisturbed areas or replace 
existing vegetation. Converting vegetation types 
from a variety of native species to one or a few 
selected species has been a strategy to protect 
watershed function following wildfires, and to 
provide forage, mainly for livestock. In most 
cases, the seeding of the rangelands has initially 
resulted in less plant and animal diversity than 
what was there historically. Such changes in 
diversity and structure can markedly alter the 
food sources and the thermal and visual cover 
for wildlife, resulting from a new habitat of more 
uniform height and spacing. These changes 
affect the abundance and numbers of wildlife 
species that were dependent on the vegetation 
that was there historically. 

Within the planning area, approximately 840,000 
acres of BLM-administered land have been 
seeded to introduced forage grasses. Crested 
wheatgrass is the predominant species that was 
seeded, mostly in the dry shrubland potential 
vegetation group within the Northern Great Basin 
and Owyhee Uplands (ERUs 4 and 1 0) . 

Climate and Disturbance Stresses 

Climate is a driving variable affecting site 
susceptibility to stresses on both vegetation and 
soils, and affecting resiliency to recover from 
stresses. Arid areas that receive less than 12 
inches of average annual precipitation (see Map 
2-3), in particular, are subject to extremes and/ 
or episodic events that in conjunction with other 
ecosystem stresses can lead to degradation and 
inhibit recovery. While the exact status of soil 
and vegetation indicators must be determined by 
on-site investigations, there are indicators of 



" -A':;""; 



relative susceptibility to disturbance stresses. 
Soil properties that may make certain sites more 
susceptible to range health stress include 
erodibility by water or wind, salinity and sodium 
content, and shrink-swell potential. Vegetation 
indicators of susceptibility might include 
composition of flammable exotic or noxious weed 
species; however, these plant community 
characteristics are more appropriately analyzed 
at a finer scale than in this EIS, using inventory 
data or on-site determinations. 

The 10- to 12-inch precipitation zone appears 
to be particularly susceptible to invasion by 
exotic annuals. However, this zone is proposed 
as moderately susceptible, rather thanhighly 
susceptible, because it is at the lower range 
for reseeding of perennial species, provided 
that soil factors are not limiting. An annual 
precipitation zone less than 10 inches maybe 
somewhat less susceptible to initial invasion 
by annuals, but once established, the 
likelihood of recovery by reseeding or other 
means is exceedingly diminished. 

Leonard and Karl ( 1 995a) summarize the 
frequency of drought and occurrence of favorable 
years for seedling establishment for climate 
divisions in the project area. Periodic drought 
may facilitate woody plant establishment and 
canopy development or result in high weed 
biomass, including flammable exotics, in 
succeeding years of high rainfall. The more arid 
the area, the more frequent the occurrence of 
drought years . Seedling establishment of 
perennial species usually requires two or more 
favorable years in a row, which occurs 
infrequently and unpredictably in the project 
area, and in most cases is preceded or 
succeeded by at least moderate drought 
conditions. Frequent incidence of drought and 
few favorable periods of precipitation for plant 
recruitment can worsen grazing disturbances if 
not managed properly. Regardless of the grazing 
strategy, continued stocking at near normal 
levels during moderate to severe drought is 
probably the greatest cause of range 
deterioration. Ai'eas that are especially 
susceptible to range deterioration by improper 
grazing during and directly after drought in the 
planning area are dry shrublands in the Northern 
Great Basin and Owyhee Uplands (ERUs 4 and 
10), where thousands of acres of rangeland have 
been taken over by altered sagebrush steppe. 



Other Factors Influencing 
Rangeland Health 

Western Juniper and Other 
Woody Species Expansion 
and Density Concerns 

Western juniper is a relatively small to medium 
size native tree of the Pacific Northwest. Since 
the late 1800s, western juniper has increased its 
acreage by approximately three to ten times, with 
most of the current acreage lying within the 
Columbia Plateau, Blue Mountains, and Owyhee 
Uplands (ERUs 5, 6, and 10; see Map 2-23). 
Western juniper also has increased in density. 

Climate and fire contributed to the prehistoric 
expansion and contraction of western juniper's 
distribution. Settlers initiated fire suppression . 
policies which probably contributed to the 
expansion of young J uniper woodlands . 
Contraction of western j uniper distribution was 
accomplished by burning seedlings and young 
junipers. The loss of fine fuels to carry fire, 
caused in large part by improper livestock 
grazing, probably played a larger role in fire 
frequency reduction than active suppression did. 
The combined impacts of improper livestock 
grazing, reduced fire frequency, and possibly 
climate change are probably responsible for 
expansion of western juniper woodlands during 
the past 100 years. The result is a reduction in 
grasses, forbs, shrubs, and youngjuniper that 
provide forage for livestock and protection from 
soil erosion. 

As western juniper woodlands increase in 
density, understory vegetation production 
declines. Conversely, after reduction of western 
juniper density, site productivity of understory 
species typically increases. However, 
undesirable species, especially cheatgrass and 
noxious weeds, increase following juniper 
removal if they were present before removal. 

Healthywesternjuniperwoodlands, withafull 
complement of understory non-vascular species 
(for example, species composing microbiotic 
crusts), grasses, forbs, and shrubs, represent 
one of the most diverse plant communities in the 
project area. However, biodiversity is reduced on 
sites where density of western juniper has 
increased to the point that understory vegetation 






is excluded. Therefore, the expansion and 
increasing density of western juniper on 
rangelands poses a threat to plant species in the 
understory. and other species that depend upon 
those plants for habitat. 

Westernjuniper expansion has also affected 
hydrologic functions. Westernjuniper intercepts 
rain and snow with its canopy, which results in less 
water reaching the soil surface, especially in low 
intensity storm events. On sites where western 
juniper has excluded understory vegetation, 
particularly in spaces between canopies, infiltration 
has probably declined and runoff and erosion have 
probably increased, especially under high intensity 
storm events. The hydrological effects of western 
juniper increase are difficult to separate from those 
resulting from improper livestock grazing, but where 
improper livestock grazing has contributed to the 
decline in understory vegetation, it has probably 
contributed to increased runoff and erosion as well. 

The reduction of fires, as a result of fire 
suppression or a reduction in flammable fuels, 
has also affected other woody species. Conifers 
(ponderosapine, lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir) 
have encroached at various rates onto mostly 
grasslands, cool shrublands, and meadow-type 
habitats in the Cascade Range. Fire suppression 
and climate have been considered the primary 
reasons for this encroachment. Sagebrush, 
mainly mountain big sagebrush within cool 
shrublands, has increased in density in many 
areas, especially in higher elevations in eastern 
Oregon. As with juniper, the denser these woody 
species are, the more understory vegetation is 
affected. Productivity is normally reduced in the 
denser areas with biodiversity reduced as a 
result of the understory being out-competed for 
available nutrients and water by the larger, 
deeper-rooted woody species. If fire is 
reintroduced into these dense areas prior to the 
loss of the native understory vegetation, then 
productivity and biodiversity can be enhanced. 
However, if undesirable exotic vegetation such as 
cheatgrass becomes a major component of the 
understory, then fire may lead to altered 
sagebrush steppe. In addition, if most of the 
understory is lost or lacking to the point of not 
providing a seed source, then removal of woody 
species may expose the soil to accelerated 
erosion until either native or exotic species get a 
foothold in the area. 



Microbiotic Crusts: 

Ecology and Implications for 

Rangeland Management 

Microbiotic crusts consist of lichens, mosses, 
algae, fungi, cyanobacteria. and bacteria growing 
on or just below the soil surface in a thin layer. 
Microbiotic crusts are found in open spaces 
between larger plants. These crusts play a role 
in nutrient cycling, soil stability and moisture, 
and interactions with vascular plants. 
Microphytic (plant community comprising only 
lichens or algae) plants in the crusts provide 
forage for invertebrates, and some lichens 
growing on or at the soil surface (such as non- 
attached lichens) provide forage for big game 
species during critical winter periods. Some 
microphytic plants are also potential 
environmental indicators, for example, of air 
quality. The ecological role of microbiotic crusts 
is probably most notable on sites that support 
relatively sparse vegetation cover. These sites 
are mostly found in the Northern Great Basin 
(ERU 4), ColumbiaPlateau (ERU 5), and Owyhee 
Uplands (ERU 10). Potential vegetation types in 
the project area associated with substantial 
microbiotic crust components include: (1) salt 
desert shrub, (2) many of the sagebrush types, 
and (3) the xeric (drier) juniper types. 

Soils stabilized by microbiotic crusts tend to 
have greater concentrations of organic material, 
nitrogen, exchangeable manganese, calcium, 
potassium, magnesium, and available 
phosphorous. Microbiotic crusts can be the 
major source of nitrogen injuniper-sagebrush 
woodlands that apparently contain no other 
nitrogen-fixing organisms. However, in a natural 
setting, questions remain concerning the 
availability of nitrogen fixed by microbiotic 
crusts to vascular plants. 

Microbiotic crusts can comprise 70 to 80 percent 
of the ground cover in some areas. They can 
contribute to aggregate structure, and thus soil 
stability, by binding soil particles within the 
physical structures of the microphytes, and 
trapping soil particles. 

The influence of microbiotic crusts on infiltration 
and soil moisture has been noted as positive, 
negative, or neutral. This is so because many 
factors, including soil type, degree of microbiotic 
crust development, types of organisms in the 
crust, climate, disturbance history, and state of 
wetness of a given soil type when it is rewetted. 




Map 2^3. 

Distribution of Western 

Juniper in Eastern 

Oregon Counties 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Drai=t EASTSIDE EIS 



Lands Where Western juniper ^^"^ Major Rivers 

Exists in Woodlands ,^^ . , . 

■^^>^ Major Roads 

Lands Wliere Western juniper >».^ , „ , 

Exists as an Occasional ^^ f'^ ^'^^ ^o''*'' 

or Isolated Tree O cities and Towns 



all have a bearing on infiltration and soil 
moisture. The fact that microbiotic crusts will 
develop quite well on soil types characterized by 
clay and fine silt with an inherently low capacity 
for soil water infiltration confuses the picture 
and makes it more difficult to truly depict the 
crust's role in infiltration. 

Surface-disturbing activities, such as grazing, 
off-road recreational and military vehicle use, 
and recreational hiking, reduce the maximum 
potential development of microbiotic crusts. 
Fire also depletes microbiotic crusts, at least 
temporarily. Except where habitat is 
completely displaced, such as in urbanization 
or dominance by exotic annuals, recovery of 
microbiotic crusts ranges from a few years to 
100 years after removal of the activity. 
Following fire, algal components of the crust 
can recover substantially within 5 to 10 years 
whereas lichens and mosses take 10 to 20 
years or more. Average return frequencies of 
natural fire ranges from 50 years in the shrub 
steppe, to as high as 100 years in the more 
arid Snake River Plain, and are adequate to 
restore advanced development of crust 
components. Current fire intervals of less than 
five years can occur on the annual grasslands 
(altered sagebrush steppe) of the Snake River 
Plain, because the cover of exotic annuals, for 
example cheatgrass and medusahead, and their 
associated litter perpetuates the fire cycle. 
This results in substantial risk to microbiotic 
crusts. Management practices that reduce fire 
size and frequency would enhance microbiotic 
crust development. 

Desired levels of microbiotic crusts should be 
based on site capability and rangeland health 
indicators of site stability and nutrient cycling. 
Additional research is needed to establish 
realistic microbiotic crust objectives in most 
potential vegetation types. 

Microbiotic crusts are generally lacking in the 
sagebrush and salt desert shrub potential 
vegetation types in the project area, especially in 
the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) and on altered 
sagebrush steppe in the Owyhee Uplands (ERU 
1 0) . Inappropriately high livestock grazing 
pressure during the dry seasons is believed to 
be responsible to a large degree, and may be 
related to past grazing practices. 



The role of microbiotic crusts in the project area 
is not conclusive at this time. Most of the 
studies on microbiotic crusts have been 
conducted in the southern Great Basin and 
Colorado Plateau. Strict extrapolations of 
findings from these studies to the project area 
and prescriptive management direction would be 
premature until more definitive studies of 
microbiotic crusts are conducted in the project 
area. For these reasons, microbiotic crusts are 
discussed only in the guidelines section of the 
alternatives (Appendix 3-2). 

Livestock and Big Game Interactions 

Concerns over livestock use of big game ranges 
and vice-versa have been debated between 
rangeland professionals and wildlife biologists for 
years. When mismanaged, either big game (elk, 
mule deer, pronghorn antelope, and bighorn 
sheep) or livestock can have substantial effects 
on the other, especially during critical times of 
the year on rangelands in poor condition. An 
understanding of livestock and big game habitat, 
diet, diet overlap, and impacts on vegetation is 
necessary to minimize conflicts between 
livestock and big game. 

Dietary and habitat overlap does not necessarily 
mean serious (population reduction) competition is 
occurring. Patterns of use, time of use, condition 
of the range, health of the wildlife population, 
weather, and closeness to water affect the 
seriousness of the situation. Competition between 
livestock and big game is increased where winter 
ranges are in degraded condition. This limits the 
type, quality, and quantity of forage available for 
both livestock and big game. 

Elk and cattle competition has the potential to be 
highest on foothill rangelands used by cattle in 
the fall and elk in the winter. However, cattle 
prefer the bottoms and lower slopes, whereas elk 
prefer the upper slopes and steeper terrain. Elk 
foraging habitats may sometimes be influenced 
by cattle presence or use, and stocking rates and 
types of grazing systems may substantially alter 
elk foraging habits. Elk and sheep competition 
has the potential to be highest on winter range 
used by both species. Summer range use by 
both species also has potential for competition 
because of high forb use by both species, 
although elk may use different species of forbs in 
their diet than sheep. Deer and cattle have the 
greatest potential for competition in the winter 
and spring. Competition is especially high on 






winter ranges lacking in browse, or on those 
winter ranges that are in degraded condition and 
lack grass cover. 

Detailed information is lacking on domestic 
sheep and bighorn sheep social tolerance and 
forage competition. The negative effects of 
disease transmission between the two species 
probably overshadows potential negative effects 
from forage competition. The largest impediment 
to restoring bighorn sheep is the potential for 
disease transmission from domestic sheep that 
graze near or within historical and occupied 
bighorn sheep ranges. 

Pronghorn antelope and cattle have the greatest 
potential for competition on degraded rangelands 
where brush is the main forage and grasses are 
lacking. Otherwise, a dietary overlap seldom 
exceeding 25 percent precludes serious 
competition between these two ungulates as 
cattle are mainly eating grass and pronghorn are 
eating forbs and brush. 

Stocking rate and type of grazing system affect 
the quantity and quality of key forage plants, 
such as bluebunch wheatgrass and bitterbrush, 
in the project area. Light stocking rates increase 
production of some grasses and browse species, 
especially in riparian and forest habitats, 
compared to heavier stocking rates. Heavy, long- 
term stocking rates decrease the amount of key 
forage plants and increase the amount of less 
desirable plants. Heavy livestock use of grasses 
increases shrub cover. Heavy livestock use of 
browse, such as aspen, bitterbrush, and willows, 
decreases the competition with grasses. 

Big game overbrowsing of shrub and tree species in 
riparian zones alters the plant composition, or in 
some cases eliminates the shrub or tree species. In 
general, big game has had negative effects on 
riparian areas onboth winter and summer ranges. 
Big game negatively affects stands of native grasses 
where heavy winter and spring use occurs because 
of high population levels. 

Specific locations where livestock and big game 
conflicts are a serious concern have not been 
identified in thelntegratedScientific Assessment. 
Generally, these conflicts occur throughout the 
planning area where limited habitat is available 
for wildlife. The potential for conflicts can be 
very high, especially during severe winters on 
limited winter range, where large populations of 
big game exist, such as in eastern Oregon in the 



Blue Mountains (ERU 6). Serious conflicts occur 
when winter ranges are degraded to conditions 
where biodiversity is lacking, such as in altered 
sagebrush steppe areas, and when winter 
conditions become severe. 



Summary of Changes from. 
Historical to Current 



This summary is by ecological reporting unit, by 
potential vegetation group (PVG) , and by 
terrestrial community for BLM- and Forest 
Service-administered lands. 

ERU 1 ~ Northern Cascades 

Cool Shrub PVG. 

♦ A 40 percent increase in upland shrub. 

ERU 3 ~ Upper Klamath 

Cool Shrub PVG. 

♦ A 25 percent decrease in upland shrub. 

ERU 4 ~ Northern Great Basin 

Dry Shrub PVG. 

♦ An extensive invasion of exotic species. 

ERU 6 ~ Blue Mountains 

Dry Grass PVG. 

♦ An extensive invasion of exotic species. 

ERU 7 ~ Northern Glaciated Mountains 

Dry Shrub PVG. 

♦ A 30 percent decrease in upland shrub. 

ERU 10- Owyhee Uplands 

Dry Shrub PVG. 

♦ An extensive invasion of exotic species. 






Aquatic Ecosystems 



*^ Key Terms Used in This Section ^ 

Anadromous fish ~ Fish that hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, mature there, and return to fresh 
water to reproduce; for example, salmon and steelhead. 

Beneficial Uses ~ Any of the various uses of water including, but not limited to, domestic water supplies, 
industrial water supplies, agricultural water supplies, navigation, recreation in and on the water, wildlife 
habitat, and aesthetics. The beneficial use is dependent upon actual use, the ability of the water to support a 
nonexistent use either now or in the future, and its likelihood of being used in a given manner. The use of 
water for the purpose of wastewater dilution or as a receiving water for a waste treatment facility effluent is 
not a beneficial use. 

Best Management Practices (BMPs) ~ Practices designed to prevent or reduce water pollution. 

Biota ~ The animal and plant life of a particular region. 

Coarse woody debris (CWD) ~ Pieces of woody material having a diameter of at least three inches and a 
length greater than three feet (also referred to as large woody debris, or LWD). 

Endemic species ~ Plants or animals that occur naturally in a certain region and whose distribution is 
relatively limited to a particular locality. "Endemism" is the occurrence of endemic species in an area. 

Extinction ~ Complete disappearance of a species from the earth. 

Extirpation ~ Localized disappearance of a species from an area. 

Headwaters ~ Beginning of a watershed; unbranched tributaries of a stream. 

Hybridization ~ The crossbreeding of unlike individuals to produce hybrids. 

Hydrologic ~ Refers to the properties, distribution, and effects of water. "Hydrology" refers to the broad 
science of the waters of the earth — their occurrence, circulation, distribution, chemical and physical properties, 
and their reaction with the environment. 

Large woody debris ~ Any piece of woody material that intrudes into a stream channel, whose smallest 
diameter is > three inches, and whose length is > three feet. 

Pools ~ Portion of a stream where the current is slow, often with deeper water than surrounding areas and with a 
smooth surface texture. Often occur above and below riffles and generally are formed around stream bends or 
obstructions such as logs, root wads, or boulders. Pools provide important feeding and resting areas for fish. 

Riparian areas ~ Area with distinctive soils and vegetation between a stream or other body of water and the 
adjacent upland. It includes wetlands and those portions of floodplains and valley bottoms that support 
riparian vegetation. 

Salmonid ~ Fishes of the family Salmonidae, including salmon, trout, char, whitefish, ciscoe, and grayling. 

Sediment ~ Solid materials, both mineral and organic, in suspension or transported by water, gravity, ice, or 
air; may be moved and deposited away from their original position and eventually will settle to the bottom. 

Sensitive species ~ Species identified by a Forest Service regional forester or ELM state director for which 
population viability is a concern either (a) because of significant current or predicted downward trends in 
population numbers or density, or (b) because of significant current or predicted downward trends in habitat 
capability that would reduce a species' existing distribution 

Uplands ~ The portion of the landscape above the valley floor or stream. 

Watershed ~ 1) The region draining into a river, river system, or body of water; 2)In this EIS, a watershed also 
refers to a drainage area of approximately 50,000 to 100,000 acres, which is equivalent to a 5th-field 
Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC). 

Wetlands ~ In general, an area soaked by surface or groundwater frequently enough to support vegetation that 
requires saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction; generally includes swamps, marshes, bogs, wet 
A meadows, mudflats, natural ponds, and other similar areas. For legal definitions, see Glossary. a 



StMiM&M^ABP:MM$S&'JPKOCSSSES: 



Introduction 

This section summarizes the condition of aquatic 
ecosystems In the project area by first describing 
the hydrologic environments of watersheds, water 
bodies, riparian areas, and wetlands, then 
describing the status offish species that use and 
are affected by these environments. Within the 
sections describing hydrologic environments, 
there are descriptions of key processes and 
conditions that act to form and modify the 
physical and vegetational characteristics of 
aquatic ecosystems, such as streamflow, 
sedimentation, erosion, channel formation, and 
riparian vegetation. Those processes and 
conditions that can be affected by regional-scale 
management decisions are emphasized. A 
summary of current conditions in each of these 
hydrologic environments is also included. 

The section describing fish focuses on past and 
current conditions of many fish species in the 
entire project area. Special attention is given 
to native fish species, especially wide-ranging 
salmon and trout species, as well as local and 
rare species that inhabit the Northern Great 
Basin (ERU 1) and Upper Klamath Basin (ERU 3). 
Similar to the descriptions of the hydrologic 
environments, aspects of native fishes that are 
particularly affected by regional-scale management 
decisions are emphasized. Issues discussed 
include: (1) the overall status of native fish 
species in the region; (2) management of habitat 
for rare and endangered species ~ especially 
wide-ranging species; (3) genetic diversity; and 
(4) introduction of non-native species. 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section is derived primarily from the Landscape 
Dynamics (Hann et al. 1996) and Aquatics (Lee 
et al. 1996) chapters of the Assessment of 
Ecosystem. Components; Henjum et al. 1994; 
Wissner et al. 1994, and other sources as cited. 



Hydrology and 
Watershed Processes 



Swnniary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦ Environmental changes within 
landscapes commonly cumulate and 
appear on a watershed basis. 



♦ Management activities throughout 
watersheds in the project area have 
affected the quantity and quality of 
water, processes of sedimentation and 
erosion, and the production and 
distribution of organic material, thus 
affecting hydrologic conditions. On 
federally managed lands, the most 
pronounced changes to watersheds are 
due to water diversions and 
impoundment, road construction, 
vegetation alteration (including 
silvicultural practices, fire suppression, 
forage production, and improper 
livestock grazing) . 

Watersheds are natural divisions of the 
landscape and the basic functioning unit of 
hydrologic systems (see Figure 2-13). 
Watersheds are hierarchical - smaller ones nest 
within larger ones. In this EIS, the terms most 
often used to describe this hierarchy are sub- 
basin (4th-field Hydrologic Unit Code [HUC]), 
watershed (5th-field HUC), and subwatershed 
(6th-field HUC). These terms are shown in Table 
2-3 and Figure 2-1. Hydrologic unit codes are 
described in the Introduction to this chapter. 
Landforms contained within watersheds are also 
hierarchical. Valleys nest within watersheds, 
and their form is in part controlled by watershed 
physiography and geologic history. Streams and 
rivers flow through valleys, and channel form is 
influenced by interactions between streams and 
valleys. Individual features within stream 
channels, such as pools and riffles, reflect 
stream-channel processes and history, and as a 
result, are the culmination of watershed 
processes at multiple scales. 

These natural hierarchies make watersheds an 
appropriate context for considering many ecologic 
processes. Physical processes such as rainfall, 
streamflow, erosion, and sedimentation interact 
within watershed boundaries to shape and form 
the landscape. Watershed boundaries have 
meaning for living organisms as well. Most 
aquatic species, such as fish, do not cross 
watershed divides. Other species, particularly 
riparian area species such as the beaver, can be 
considered watershed residents. Human 
residence and use patterns are also strongly tied 
to locations of lakes, rivers, and streams. 

Environmental changes commonly cumulate 
and appear on a watershed basis. Changes in 
soil, vegetation, topography, and human uses 






result in changes in the quantity and quality of 
water, sediment, and organic material that flow 
through a watershed. The response of a 
particular watershed to environmental change 
varies considerably because each watershed is 
unique. Factors that govern how a watershed 
may respond to environmental change include 
the size and location of these changes, the 
physical and biological characteristics of the 
watershed, and the history of natural and 
human disturbances. 



Streams, Rivers, and 
Lakes 

Summary of Conditions and Trends 

♦Banks and beds of streams, rivers, and 
lakes have been altered by bank and shore 
structures, including urban development, 
transportation improvements, instream 
mining activities, flood-control works, and 
alteration of riparian areas. In general, 
the changes have been greatest for the 
larger streams, rivers, and lakes. 

♦Water quantity and flow rates have been 
locally affected by dams, diversions, 
groundwater withdrawal. More subtle, 
but widespread changes in water quantity 
and flow patterns on federally managed 
lands have probably been caused by road 
construction, and changes in vegetation 
due to silvicultural practices and livestock 
grazing. 

♦Within the eastern Oregon and Washington 
planning area, 1 1 percent of Forest 
Service-administered streams and 13 
percent of BLM-administered streams are 
"water quality limited" as defined by the 
Clean Water Act. On Forest Service- 
administered lands, the primary water 
quality problems are sedimentation, 
turbidity, flow alteration, and high 
temperatures. On BLM-administered 
lands, high sediment, turbidity levels, and 
temperatures are the primary reasons for 
listing as water quality limited. 

♦ Streams and rivers are highly variable 
across the project area, reflecting diverse 
physical settings and disturbance 



histories. Nevertheless, important 
aspects of fish habitat, such as pool 
frequency and large woody debris 
abundance, have decreased throughout 
much of the project area. Pool frequency 
and wood frequency are generally less in 
areas with higher road densities, and in 
areas where timber harvest has been a 
management emphasis. 

Movement of water is one of the fundamental 
ways to transfer energy and materials in 
ecosystems. Water in streams and rivers 
transports sediment, organic material, nutrients, 
and aquatic organisms, resulting in constant 
redistribution and shaping of landforms and 
stream channels. Figure 2-13 illustrates this 
movement of water, also known as the 
hydrologic cycle. The wide variety of water 
bodies, with their associated energy and food 
sources, provide abundant and diverse habitats 
for water-dependent plant and animal species. 

Streams, rivers, and lakes are also a focus for 
human activities. As human populations 
increase, and demands for food, energy, 
transportation networks, and recreation 
opportunities expand, uses of stream and river 
systems increase. These uses have resulted 
and will continue to result in escalating 
conflicts over water and stream channels, both 
between competing human uses, and between 
human uses and ecologic requirements of the 
native biota. Resolution of many of these 
conflicts is outside the authority of BLM and 
Forest Service decision-makers, and is therefore 
outside the scope of this EIS. However, there 
are some critical regional issues regarding 
streams and stream channels that are affected 
by BLM and Forest Service decision-making. 
These issues have to do with water quantity 
and quality, riparian and a aquatic habitat 
quality, and stream channel processes. 

Water Quantity and Quality 

Water quantity and quality are important 
components of aquatic and riparian habitats. 
Moreover, the primary influence land managers 
have over the condition of aquatic ecosystems 
on Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands is 
through management of water quantity and quality. 

Water Quantity 

Within eastern Oregon and Washington, there 
are approximately 137,100 miles of streams 






/f 




Figure 2-13. Hydrologic Cycle - A complex interdependent system called the 
hydrologic cycle links atmospheric, surface, and groundwater, and controls 
the distribution and movement of water in all ecosystems. The interactions 
of components within the hydrologic cycle provide the key to processes, such 
as flooding, that route and deliver water, wood, and sediment to streams. 
These interactions also connect streams to their floodplain, adjacent riparian 
areas, and uplands. 



% 



J 



and rivers (including larger irrigation canals) 
and several thousand lakes mapped at the 
scale of 1:100,000. Most of the lakes are small 
(surface areas less than 12 acres) and are at 
high elevations (greater than 5,000 feet). Thirty 
percent of these streams and a majority of the 
lakes are on Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands. Most of these streams 
ultimately drain into the Columbia River, which 
has a drainage area of 237,000 square miles 
(152 million acres) and an average annual 
discharge of 140 million acre-feet at the town of 
The Dalles, Oregon. Approximately 35 percent 
of the flow at The Dalles originates from 
Canada. A large part of the flow from the 
southeastern portion of the project area enters 



the Columbia River via the Snake River, which 
has a drainage area of 108,500 square miles 
(69 miillion acres) and an average annual 
discharge of 40 million acre-feet near its 
confluence with the Columbia River in south- 
central Washington. Within eastern Oregon 
and Washington, but outside of the Columbia 
River Basin, are portions of the Klamath River 
drainage (Upper Klamath ERU 3) and the 
closed basins of south-central Oregon (Goose 
Lake Basin in ERU 3 and the Northern Great 
Basin ERU 1). 

Most surface runoff results from snowmelt 
and/or rainfall in mountainous regions, 
resulting in spring and summer annual peak 



i,, ,-H ^„,i^¥^',f,i 



discharges. The vast majority of streamflow 
originates on public lands, especially higher 
elevation Forest Service-administered lands. In 
eastern Oregon and Washington, elevations 
below 2,000 feet, including most BLM- 
administered lands, usually do not contribute 
significantly to streamflow (Wissmar et al. 
1994). There is substantial year-to-year 
variability in streamflow quantity, because of 
variability in rainfall and snowfall 
accumulation (Mcintosh et al. 1994). 

Most streamflow in eastern Oregon and 
Washington results from surface runoff or 
shallow groundwater flow into streams. A few 
streams, however, in the volcanic provinces of 
the Columbia Plateau (ERU 5), Upper Klamath 
Basin (ERU 3), Northern Cascades (ERU 1), 
and Southern Cascades (ERU 2) have 
significant components of inflow from 
groundwater. These groundwater-influenced 
streams provide unique terrestrial and aquatic 
habitats because of their relatively constant 
flows of cold, clear, and high-quality water. 

Scarcity of streamflow during the growing 
season, year-to-year streamflow variability, and 
the general aridity of low-elevation valleys and 
plains have spurred flow regulation and storage, 
water diversions, and groundwater withdrawal 
throughout the planning area. These human 
modifications range from massive federal storage 
and irrigation projects, such as the Columbia 
Basin and Klamath Basin projects, to numerous 
small headwater reservoirs (stock tanks) used for 
livestock grazing. These projects help assure 
reliable water supplies for irrigation, livestock, 
and human use in addition to providing flood 
control and hydropower benefits. Reservoirs 
associated with these projects are extensively 
used for a variety of recreation activities. In total, 
about seven million acres in the Columbia River 
Basin are presently irrigated, resulting in a seven 
to ten percent net reduction of annual flow 
volume. As a result of impoundments and 
diversions, most streams in the planning area, 
especially larger ones, have significantly altered 
flow regimes resulting in changed habitat 
conditions, especially for those species that have 
survival strategies adapted to natural flow 
patterns. Altered flow regimes also affect channel 
stability by changing the rates and timing of 
sediment and organic-material transport. 

On Forest Service- and BLM-administered 
lands, management activities that have altered 
flow are impoundments (dams and reservoirs), 



water withdrawal (diversions and pumping) , 
road construction, and vegetation 
manipulation. Timber harvest, fire 
suppression, livestock grazing, and associated 
activities have altered the timing and volume of 
streamflow by changing on-site hydrologic 
processes (Keppeler and Ziemer 1990; Wright et 
al. 1990). Changes can be either short- or 
long-term depending on which hydrologic 
processes are altered and the intensity of 
alteration (Harr 1983). 

Vegetation manipulation activities can change 
rates and amounts of evaporation and 
transpiration (water use by plants), and, in 
some areas, can change rates and volumes of 
snow accumulation and snowmelt. These 
effects are best understood for forested 
environments, where, within clearcuts, snow 
tends to accumulate in greater amounts and 
melt faster than in forested areas, leading to 
larger and earlier peak flows (Harr 1986, King 
1994). These effects are greatest in association 
with rain-on-snow events, which are most 
common at altitudes of less than 5,000 feet in 
eastern Oregon and Washington. Although 
there is less clearcutting now, the hydrologic 
effects of past clearcuts can persist for three to 
four decades, depending on vegetation 
characteristics (FEMAT 1993). Soil compaction 
due to improper livestock grazing (Flatts 1991) 
and timber harvesting activities, such as 
yarding and heavy equipment operation, can 
also result in decreased soil permeability and 
increased runoff (Chamberlin et al. 1991). 

The past history of fire suppression may have 
also affected flow quantity and quality. On 
rangelands, fire suppression is partly 
responsible for expansion of western juniper. 
Expansion of western juniper and increasing 
density can result in decreased understory 
vegetation, which is believed to contribute to 
decreased soil infiltration and increased peak 
discharges during intense rainfall. In 
forested environments, increased above- 
ground vegetation due to fire suppression 
may also have resulted in increased 
evapotranspiration rates and decreased 
runoff. Additionally, past fire suppression 
practices may have increased the risk of 
uncharacteristically high intensity fires in 
some parts of the planning area. High 
intensity fires can result in decreased soil 
porosity thus increasing runoff and soil 
erosion (McNabb and Swanson 1990). Fire 
can also cause water-repellent layers to form 






K^nir^r :<;,J. :::v^« W): : / ' 



in soils, resulting in temporarily increased 
runoff (DeBano et al. 1976). 

A management activity in forested 
environments that has probably had a 
significant effect on runoff and streamflow has 
been road construction, although most studies 
investigating this issue have been outside the 
project area. The relatively impermeable 
surfaces of roads, associated cutbanks, and 
roadside ditches result in decreased infiltration 
and more surface runoff. Roadcuts also 
intercept subsurface flow and route it quickly 
to stream channels. Roadside ditches and 
newly-formed gullies downstream from culverts 
extend the channel network (Harr et al. 1975, 
1979; Megahan et al. 1992; Jones and Grant, 
1996; Wemple 1993; Ziemer 1981). 

Water Quality 

As specified in the Clean Water Act of 1 948 and 
subsequent amendments, water quality includes 
all attributes that affect existing and designated 
uses of a body of water. Included are human 
uses such as recreation, hydropower, and water 
supply, and other uses such as maintenance of 
fisheries and riparian habitats. As a result, 
water quality attributes that are considered 
under the Clean Water Act include traditional 
physical and chemical constituents such as pH, 
bacteria concentration, temperature, discharge, 
and parameters relevant to aquatic habitat 
such as the abundance of large woody debris, 
pool frequency, and riparian canopy density. 

The Clean Water Act requires that every two 
years each state review all available 
information on water quality as part of a 
statewide water quality assessment. Where 
application of current Best Management 
Practices or technology-based controls are not 



sufficient to achieve designated water quality 
standards, the body of water is classified as 
"water quality limited." Of the 137,100 miles of 
streams and rivers in eastern Oregon and 
Washington, approximately 12,000 miles 
(1 1 percent) are "water quality limited." On 
Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in 
eastern Oregon and Washington, about 13 
percent of stream mileage is determined to be 
water quality limited. 

On public lands in eastern Oregon and 
Washington, non-point sources of pollution are 
the primary cause of degraded water quality. A 
non-point source of pollution is water pollution 
whose source(s) cannot be pinpointed, but that 
can be best controlled by proper soil, water, and 
land management practices. On Forest Service- 
administered lands, the primary water quality 
problems are sedimentation, turbidity, flow 
alteration, and high temperatures. On BLM- 
administered lands, high sediment, turbidity 
levels, and temperatures are the primary reasons 
for listing as water quality limited. 

Water temperature is considered under the 
Clean Water Act and is a regionally-important 
facet of aquatic habitat on Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands within the project 
area. The relationship between land-use 
practices, water temperature, and effects on 
fish species is better understood than for any 
other aspect of water quality (IRhodes et al. 
1994). Water temperature influences 
metabolism, behavior, and mortality of aquatic 
species (Beschta et al. 1987; Bjornn and Reiser 
1991). Salmonids (salmon and trout) are cold- 
water fish that are particularly sensitive to 
increases in temperature; sustained water 
temperatures of greater than 64 to 80° 
Fahrenheit are lethal for most species. In 
eastern Oregon aj:id Washington, where summer 



/T 



K 



Water Quality and the Clean Water Act 

Water quality is regulated by state environmental agencies under authority granted by the Clean Water Act 
(1948) and subsequent amendments. Under the Clean Water Act, federal agencies are, in general, required to 
meet state requirements. In eastern Oregon and Washington, the Forest Service and BLM are the responsible 
management agencies for water quality on lands they manage, as described in memoranda of understanding 
(MOUs) with state environmental agencies. These MOUs require federal agencies to meet water quality 
standards, monitor acHvities to assure they meet standards, report results to the states, and meet periodically 
to recertify Best Management Prachces (BMPs). The primary mechanisms for regulating and controlling non- 
point sources of pollution are adopting and implementing (1) Best Management Practices, (2) numeric and 
narrative water quality standards, and (3) the antidegradation policy (40 CFR 131). 



J 






air temperatures are generally much greater 
than 80° Fahrenheit, many streams have lost 
their capability to support cold-water fish, and 
salmonid mortality in streams that still support 
salmonids is common due to elevated water 
temperatures (Henjum et al. 1994). 

Stream Channels 

Water, sediment, solutes (dissolved materials), 
and organic material derived from hillslopes 
and their vegetative cover flow into and 
through streams and rivers. The shape and 
character of stream channels constantly and 
sensitively adjust to the flow of these 
materials by adopting distinctive patterns 
such as pools-and-riffles and meanders 
(Leopold et al. 1964; see Figure 2-14). The 
vast array of physical channel characteristics 
combined with energy and material flow, 
provide diverse habitats for a wide variety of 
aquatic and riparian-dependent species. 



Stream Channel Processes, Functions, 
and Patterns 

The varied topography within the planning 
area, coupled with the irregular occurrence of 
channel-affecting processes and disturbance 
events such as fire, debris flows, landslides, 
volcanic activity, drought, and extreme 
floods, results in a mosaic of river and stream 
conditions that are dynamic in space and 
time under natural conditions (Reeves et al. 
1995). The primary consequence of most of 
these disturbances is to directly or indirectly 
provide large pulses of sediment and wood 
into stream systems. As a result, most 
streams and rivers in the planning area 
probably undergo cycles of channel change 
on timescales ranging from years to hundreds 
of years in response to episodic inputs of 
wood and sediment. The types of disturbance, 
such as fire, flood, or debris flow, that affect 
the condition of a particular channel depends 



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Steep mountain 
headwater streams 
flow swiftly through 
and cut a deep "V" 
shaped valleys. Rapids, 
small pools and 
waterfalls are common 
and densly spaced. 



Foothill streams 
flow through moderately 
confined valleys. Pools 
and riffles are common. 
The valley broadens and 
the river begins to 
meander. 



The river continues to 
meander slowly across 
a broad, nearly flat 
valley with wide 
floodplains. Large pools, 
and off-channel 
standing water is common. 



Figure 2-14. Steep Mountain Headwaters ~ Stream channels 
change in shape and velocity based on the steepness of the 
ground slope and the amount of surface water. In general, 
steeper channels are commonly found in the headwater or 
mountainous portions of a landscape. 



J 






on watershed characteristics, channel size, 
and position of the channel within the 
watershed (Reeves et al. 1995; Grant and 
Swanson 1995). Many Pacific Northwest 
aquatic and riparian plant and animal 
species have evolved in concert with the 
dynamic nature of stream channels, 
developing traits, life-history adaptations, 
and propagation strategies that allow 
persistence and success within landscapes 
that experience harsh disturbance regimes. 

In order to guide understanding and 
management of streams and rivers, stream 
classification systems (for example Rosgen 1994; 
Montgomery and Buffington 1994) have been 
established on the basis of distinctive patterns of 
stream behavior. These classifications are 
primarily derived from consideration of stream 
slope and confinement (relating to the stream's 
ability to move and erode its banks and bed). In 
general, stream types range from steep and 
confined channels that generally consist of (1) 
step-pool and cascade-dominated streams 
(Rosgen "type A"; Montgomery and Buffmgton 
"source"), through (2) moderate gradient and 
moderately confined rapid-dominated channels 
(Rosgen "type B"; Montgomery and Buffington 
"transport"), to (3) low gradient, unconfmed, pool- 
and-riffle dominated channels (Rosgen "types C, 
D, and E"; Montgomery and Buffington 
"response"). Other stream types include (4) 
gullied, or streams actively eroding their 
streambeds and streambanks (Rosgen type G) 
and (5) low gradient, entrenched, wide streams 
(Rosgen type F) . 

In general, steeper channels (slopes greater 
than four percent) are commonly found in the 
headwater or mountainous portions of a 
landscape, and are less sensitive to watershed 
disturbances because of their high degree of 
confinement and their position high in the 
watershed. Once disturbed, however, steep 
and confined streams may take considerable 
time to recover to their previous condition. 
Channels with slopes between two and four 
percent generally contain abundant rapids and 
steep riffles. Lower-gradient streams (slopes 
less than two percent) are generally larger, and 
under natural conditions, meander and migrate 
freely within wider valleys. Ix)w gradient 
streams and rivers commonly have numerous 
side channels and high water channels, and 
generally contain the most biologically 
productive aquatic ecosystems. These low- 
gradient channels are generally sensitive to 



cumulative and local watershed disturbances, 
but commonly recover quickly where there are 
natural hydrologic and sediment regimes. 

Current Conditions 

Within eastern Oregon and Washington, 
humans have extensively altered stream 
channels by direct modifications such as 
channelization, wood removal, diversion, and 
dam-building, and also by indirectly affecting 
the incidence, frequency, and magnitude of 
disturbance events. This has affected inputs 
and outputs of sediment, water, and wood. 
These factors have combined to cause pervasive 
changes in channel conditions throughout the 
planning area, resulting in aquatic and riparian 
habitat conditions significantly different than 
those that existed prior to extensive human 
alteration (Henjum et al. 1994; Mcintosh et al. 
1994; Wissmar et al. 1994). In general, the 
largest rivers such as the Columbia and Snake 
rivers, have been converted from free-flowing 
streams to a series of reservoirs. Many 
intermediate-sized rivers, such as the Grande 
Ronde, Methow, Wenatchee, and Deschutes 
rivers, are now important transportation 
corridors that are flanked by roads, railroads, 
or both with floodplains that have been 
encroached upon by transportation features, 
urbanization, agriculture, and other human 
structures and activities. 

Indirect effects of past land management 
activities are also pervasive in the planning 
area. Mining, timber harvest, livestock grazing, 
beaver trapping, and road-building have all 
altered channels by affecting the rate with 
which sediment, water, and wood enter and are 
transported through stream channels. Almost 
all Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands 
outside designated wildernesses have been 
entered at some level for resource extraction 
since the early 1800s. Most of the large-scale 
and intense operations, such as in-stream 
dredging and severe overgrazing, that 
significantly and adversely impacted channel 
morphology were halted by the early 1900s 
(Wissmar et al. 1994). Nevertheless, the effects 
of past management activities continue to affect 
channel morphology today. 

The Aquatics (Lee et al. 1996) chapter of the 
AEC addresses the current status of stream 
channel morphology in the project area, and its 
relation to management actions through 
analysis of aquatic habitat inventories. These 



analyses include repeated surveys of 105 
streams inventoried in the 1930s and 1940s 
(see Figure 2-15), and more than 6,000 stream 
inventories completed in the last five years that 
summarized stream conditions across a 
spectrum of physiographic environments and 
management histories (see Figure 2-16). Key 
findings from analysis of both data sets are 
that stream channel morphology is highly 
variable, depending on stream type and 
biophysical environment, but there are 
significant correlations between management 
intensity and stream channel morphology over 
time and space. 



Aspects of channel morphology in eastern 
Oregon and Washington that have apparently 
been affected by land management practices 
include the frequency of pools, the frequency of 
large pieces of wood in the channel, and the 
composition of substrate (especially the amount 
of fine sediment). Low gradient (slopes less 
than two percent) and larger streams are 
apparently the most sensitive to management 
activities. Pool frequency and wood frequency 
are generally less in areas with higher road 
densities, and in areas where timber harvest 
has been a management emphasis. 
Additionally, where measured, the percent of 



Large Pools 





Increased 



Managed 



Umnanaged 



Deep Pools 






Managed 



Unmanaged 



Figure 2-15. Results of Repeat Surveys - Comparison of changes in pool frequency between 1935 through 
1945, and 1991 through 1994. Large pools are greater than 215feet^ and deeper than 2.6 feet; deep pools are 
greater than 215 feet-' and deeper than 5.2 feet. Stream basins were classfied as "managed" - significant 
management activities during the last 50 years, or "unmanaged" - little active management during the last 50 
years. (Modified from the Aquatics chapter of the ABC.) 






. w ^AA MtU l llHmt.**'VwtHH tH^H'H**rttll W ** 






Pool Frequency vs. Road Density 



0.12 



0.08 

cr 0.06 



o 
o 



0.04 



0.02 



0.00 



- 






O Large Pools 


1 


r 




• All Pools 


" 






- i - 


i 










i 




1 


L 5 


o 

1 


« 

1 1 



0-0.02 0.02-0.10 0.10-0.70 0.70-1.70 1.70-4.70 

Road Density (miles/miles^) 



>4.70 



0.10 



0.08 



I' 0.06 

V 

9 
C 
V 

u 

_: 0.04 



0.02 



0.00 



Pool Frequency vs. 


Ownership/Ma 


nagement Class 


_ 












\y Large Pools 


- 












• All Pools 


- 


* 




i 


i 


i 




i 


» 


« 








- 


- 




5 


§ 




4> 


< 


r O 


O 


1 




i 


§ 

5 



...N^= 



■f 



J^ .f' <f <)* 

.^-^ <-"' ^' / /' ^- 






Ownership/Management Class 



Figure 2-16. Pool Frequency ~ Comparison of pool frequency measured in 1989 through 1994 
stream inventories for various road densities and management emphasis ^modified from Aquat- 
ics chapter of the AEC. Larger pools are greater than 215feet^ and deeper than 2.6 feet. "Pvt" 
indicates private lands. 



^^HiiwM r-). < 



*t. "'tf^ ' ^ 



' ?"*'>yi*4'*t^l*' M- /'^ ■%!»<■ <#-'twvV)~"J*'?/vWi-v*V« 'SR 



■? M-if^-JiMftf j-^t^^'MAi 



the channel bed covered with fine sediment 
(less than 0.25 inch) increases with road 
density. These findings are consistent with 
observations from site-specific analyses that 
indicate that improper road construction, 
livestock grazing, and timber harvest practices 
increase delivery of fine sediment to stream 
channels, filling the pools and causing stream 
channels to fill with sediment (Furniss et al. 
1991; Hicks etal. 1991). 

In addition to these specific changes to streams 
and rivers, and those discussed in the Scientific 
Assessment (1996), land management practices 
have caused an overall change in the scale and 
frequency of landscape disturbance, resulting 
in a distinctly different character of watersheds 
and their stream systems when viewed from a 
regional perspective. Instead of individual and 
isolated watersheds, riparian areas, and stream 
channels being episodically affected by large 
disturbances, such as floods, fire, and insect 
infestations, with other neighboring watersheds 
remaining largely unaffected, past land 
management practices of widespread flow 
impoundment, road construction, improper 
livestock grazing, and timber harvest have led 
to increased levels of watershed disturbances 
spread over time and space. Consequently, 
most watersheds contain stream channels and 
aquatic habitats that are now subject to 
continuing cumulative effects of watershed 
disturbance. This contrasts with the more 
pulse-like pattern of disturbance that most 
streams and associated species evolved with. 
As a result, most stream channels are in a 
somewhat unnatural condition, with habitat 
conditions that are less than optimal for 
aquatic and riparian-dependent species that 
evolved in environments that probably had 
many more high-quality habitat areas spread 
across the landscape. 

Lakes 

Within the project area, lake conditions have 
been most affected by recreation and 
residential development. Recreation activities 
such as backpacking, horsepacking, 
recreational vehicle use, and road and trail 
development have resulted in damage to lake 
environments, particularly beaches and other 
near-shore areas. Recreation activities have 
commonly led to introduction of non-native 
plant and animal species, resulting in local 
extinction of native invertebrates, 
amphibians, and fish. Recreational boating 



has led to the introduction of numerous non- 
native plants, such as Eurasian watermilfoil. 
Large mid-elevation lakes, such as Klamath 
Lake and Lake Odell in central Oregon and 
Lake Chelan in central Washington, have 
been the most affected from a growing 
regional population seeking to live, ranch, or 
recreate near lakes. 

Water transfers and diversions for potable or 
irrigation water supply have affected many 
lakes in eastern Oregon and Washington, 
especially the closed lake basins in the Upper 
Klamath Basin (ERU 3) and Northern Great 
Basin (ERU 1), where drought and diversion 
of inflow have resulted in veiy low lake levels 
during the last several years. Dozens of 
moderate-sized lakes have their shorelines 
influenced by modification and control of 
their outlet streams or rivers. Regulation of 
lake level for water supply purposes has had 
effects on near-shore aquatic and wetland 
plant and animal communities, and the 
spawning success of near-shore spawning 
fishes. Additionally, inter-basin water 
transfers have promoted the continued 
spread of non-indigenous plants and animals 
while inhibiting natural migration routes of 
native species. 

Riparian Areas and 
Wetlands 



Summary of Conditions and Trends 

♦The overall extent and continuity of 
riparian areas and wetlands has 
decreased, primarily due to conversion to 
agriculture, but also due to urbanization, 
transportation improvements, and stream 
channel modifications. 

♦ Riparian ecosystem function, determined 
by the amount and type of vegetation 
cover, has decreased in most sub-basins 
within the project area. 

♦A majority of riparian areas on Forest 
Service and BLM-administered lands are 
either "not meeting objectives," "non- 
functioning," or "functioning at risk." 
However, the rate has slowed and a few 
areas show increases in riparian cover and 
large trees. 

♦Within ripariEin woodlands, the abundance 
of mid-seral vegetation has increased 



whereas the abundance of late and early 
serai structural stages has decreased, 
primarily due to fire exclusion and the 
harvest of large trees. 

♦Within riparian shrublands, there has 
been extensive spread of western juniper 
and introduction of exotic grasses and 
forbs, primarily due to processes and 
activities associated with improper 
livestock grazing. 

♦The frequency and extent of seasonal 
floodplain and wetland inundation has 
been altered by changes in flow regime 
due to dams, diversions, and groundwater 
withdrawal, and by changes in channel 
morphology due to sedimentation and 
erosion, channelization, and installment 
of transportation improvements such as 
roads and railroads. 

♦There is an overall decrease in large trees 
and lake serai vegetation in riparian areas. 



Riparian and Wetland 
ProcesseSf Functions, and 
Patterns 

Riparian areas are water-dependent systems 
that consist of lands along, adjacent to, or 
contiguous with streams, rivers, and wetland 
systems (see Figure 2-17). Riparian 
ecosystems are the ecological links between 
uplands and streams, and terrestrial and 
aquatic components of the landscape. Many 
riparian areas have wetlands associated with 
them. While riparian areas are defined 
primarily on the basis of their nearness to 
streams and rivers, wetlands occur wherever 
the water table is usually at or near the 
ground, or where the land is at least 
seasonally covered by shallow water. Wetlands 
in the project area include marshes, shallow 
swamps, lake shores, sloughs, bogs, and wet 
meadows. Riparian areas and wetlands cover 
a relatively small portion of eastern 
Washington and Oregon ~ less than four 
percent of the total land area. Their ecological 
significance, however, far exceeds their limited 
physical area because of the major 
contributions that riparian areas and wetlands 
provide to ecosystem productivity and 
structural and biological diversity, particularly 
in drier climates (Elmore and Beschta 1987). 



The largest existing wetland systems are within 
the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) and Upper 
Klamath Basin (ERU 3), where wetlands occupy 
the bottoms of closed basins. These large lake/ 
wetland systems naturally shrink and expand 
in response to climate, and now are also 
affected by irrigation and water withdrawal. 
Many small, isolated wetlands exist in alpine 
areas in the Upper PQamath Basin (ERU 3), 
Northern Cascades (ERU 1), Southern 
Cascades (ERU 2), Blue Mountains (ERU 6), 
and Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7). 
These wetlands are mostly remnants of small 
lakes, or have formed in small closed 
depressions formed by glaciation, landslides, or 
lava flows. 

Physical Processes in Riparian Areas 
and Wetlands 

Important physical processes in riparian areas 
primarily reflect the interactions between 
stream channels, adjacent valley bottoms, and 
riparian vegetation. These processes depend 
largely on the extent and frequency of flooding. 
Water that inflltrates into floodplains during 
periods of high flow, returns to the channel 
during periods of low flow, contributing a cool 
source of summer base flow for many streams, 
especially in low-elevation alluvial valleys. 
Seasonal inundation of floodplain results in 
overbajik deposition and enrichment of riparian 
soils. Inundation of the floodplain also reduces 
water velocities during flooding and aids in 
reducing downstream flood peaks, both factors 
that reduce the risk of channel erosion. Inland 
wetlands perform many of the same functions, 
such as detaining storm runoff, reducing flow 
peaks and erosion potential, retaining and 
Altering sediment, and augmenting groundwater 
recharge by storing water and releasing it more 
slowly, later into the dry season. 

Riparian vegetation also plays a role in many 
physical processes within riparian areas. 
Vegetation shades streams and moderates 
water temperatures by helping keep waters cool 
in the summer and providing an insulating 
effect in the winter. Densely-vegetated riparian 
areas buffer the input of sediment from 
hfllslopes and filter fertilizers, pesticides, 
herbicides, and sediment from runoff generated 
on adjacent lands. Riparian vegetation also 
promotes bank stability and contributes 
organic matter and large woody debris to some 
stream systems, which is an important 



Conifer 
trees 



Deciduous 
trees 



Siirubs 



Sedges 
rushes 
grasses 

Water 




Aquatic zone 

A. Forested Riparian Ctiaracteristics 



Riparian zone 



Upland zone 



^ ^K^L*^ 



Aspen, Cottonwood, 
alder, etc. 




Capillary 
Saturated zone 



Confining layer/bedrock 

L 



^ Juniper 

^¥ Sagebrush, 

|i-^ grasses 



Rangeland 


Riparian 


Aquatic 


Riparian 


Rangeland 


zone 


zone 


zone 


zone 


zone 



B. Rangeland Riparian Ctiaracteristics 



Figure 2-1 7. Forested and Rangeland Characteristics ~ Relationships and key components of riparian 
areas and adjacent aquatic and upland zones for (a] forested and (b) rangeland environments. 






^ 



Wetlands ~ A Definition 



The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Natural 
Resource Conservation Service (formerly the Soil Conservation Service) worked together to develop common 
language and criteria for the identification and delineation of wetlands in the United States (Federal Interagency 
Committee for Wetland Delineation 1989). The four federal agencies defined wetlands as possessing three essential 
characteristics: (1) hydrophytic vegetation, (2) hydric soils, and (3) wetland hydrology, which is the driving force 
creating all wetlands. The three technical characteristics specified are mandatory and must all be met for an area to 
be identified as a wetland. 

Hydrophytic vegetation is defined as plant life growing in water, soil, or substrate that is at least periodically 
deficient in oxygen as a result of excessive water content. Hydric soils are defined as soils that are saturated, 
flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions in 
the upper part of the soil profile. Generally, to be considered a hydric soil, there must be water saturation at 
temperatures above freezing for at least a week during the growing season. Wetland hydrology is defined as 
permanent or periodic inundation of water, or soil saturation to the surface, at least seasonally. The presence of 
water for a week or more during the growing season typically creates anaerobic conditions in the soil, which affects 
the types of plants that can grow and the types of soils that develop (Hansen et al. 1994). 



component of instream habitat conditions 
(Gregory et al. 1991; Henjum et al. 1994; Hicks 
et al. 1991; Kovalchick and Elmore 1992; 
Sedell et al. 1990). Complex off-channel 
habitats, such as backwaters, eddies, and side 
channels, are often formed by the interaction of 
streamflow and riparian features such as living 
vegetation and large woody debris (Gregory et 
al. 1991). These areas of slower water provide 
critical refuge during floods for a variety of 
aquatic species, and serve as rearing areas for 
juvenile fish. 

Riparian and Wetland Vegetation 

The broad-scale analysis of vegetation 
conducted as part of Scientific Assessment 
(1996) identified three potential vegetation 
groups associated with riparian areas: riparian 
woodland (dominated by cottonwood, aspen, 
ponderosa pine, and Douglas-fir), riparian 
shrub (dominated by alder and willow), and 
riparian herb (including sedges, forbs, and 
grasses; see Table 2-16). The smallest pixel 
(resolution of data) analyzed in the broad-scale 
analysis was one square kilometer, or 250 
acres. Because riparian vegetation grows in 
thin strips along streams and rivers, it was 
difficult to accurately determine the areal 
extent using the broad-scale data. 
Consequently, the three potential vegetation 
groups were lumped into one group (riparian 
potential vegetation group) for descriptive and 
analytical purposes in this EIS. 



Under natural conditions, riparian plant 
communities have a high degree of structural 
and compositional diversity, reflecting the 
history of past disturbances such as floods, 
fire, wind, grazing, plant disease, and insect 
outbreaks (Gregory et al. 1991). Historically 
(prior to the 1900s), disturbance regimes along 
riparian areas were dominated by floods and 
fires, with some grazing by native ungulates 
(large, hoofed mammals, such as mule deer, elk, 
bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope). Within 
the riparian woodland potential vegetation 
group, fires were normally infrequent but severe, 
occurring at 65- to 150-year recurrence intervals 
when there were appropriate weather, fuel, and 
ignition conditions. In the riparian shrub 
potential vegetation group, fire was typically 
more frequent, occurring every 25 to 50 years. 
Because predators typically used riparian 
habitat as cover, native ungulates typically 
remained on the uplands and only made 
dispersed visits to riparian areas for water. 
However, during drought periods, riparian areas 
were more intensively grazed by native ungulates. 

Riparian Habitat and 
Terrestrial Species 

Riparian areas contain the most biologically 
diverse habitats on federal lands attributable to 
a variety of structural features, including live 
and dead vegetation and their close proximity 
to water bodies. FUparian areas are valuable to 
wildlife for food, cover, and water (Bull 1977; 
Thomas et al. 1979), and provide important 
habitat for approximately 80 percent of the 






^^^^^^^fiV^^K^^^^ft^ 



Table 2-16 Riparian/Woodland Vegetation Classifications. 



Potential Vegetation Group 



Potential Vegetation Types 



Woodland 



Riparian Woodland 
IRipailan Shrub 

Fiiparian Herb 



Jumper 

Limber Pine 

Mountain Mahogany 

Mountain Mahogany with Mountain Big Sagebrush 

White Oak 

Aspen 

Cottonwood Riverine 

Mountain Ripaiian Low Shrub 

Salix/Carex 

Saltbrush Riparian 

Riparian Graminoid 
Riparian Sedge 



Source; Hann et al. (1996). 



wildlife species in eastern Oregon and 
Washington (Elmore and Beschta 1987; 
Thomas et al. 1979). They provide nesting and 
brooding habitat for birds; and thermal cover 
and favorable microclimates due to increased 
humidity, a higher rate of transpiration, shade, 
and increased air movement helping in 
homeostasis (a condition where energy 
expenditure is minimized), especially when 
surrounded by non-forested ecosystems 
(Thomas et al. 1979). Common deciduous trees 
and shrubs in riparian areas, such as 
Cottonwood, alder, willow, and red osier 
dogwood, are important food sources for deer, 
elk, moose, hares, rabbits, voles, beavers, and 
other animals. In riparian areas that are 
dominated by aspen and cottonwood, 24 
species of amphibians, 145 species of birds, 62 
species of mammals, and 10 species of reptiles 
are also found (SER Model 1996). Riparian 
areas serve as big game migration routes 
between summer and winter range; provide 
travel corridors or connectors between habitat 
types for many species, including carnivores, 
birds, and bats; and play an essential role 
within landscapes as corridors for dispersal of 
plants (Bull 1977; Gregory et al. 1991; 
Heinemeyer and Jones 1994; Thomas et al. 
1979: Vogel and Reese 1995; Washington 
Department of Fish and Wildlife 1995). 

Fiiparian habitat is used by more bird species 
than any other habitat type wathin the project 



area (Neotropical Migratory Bird Report In press). 
Fifteen neotropical migrant bird species (species 
that breed in North America and winter in 
Central or South America) use riparian habitat 
either exclusively or in combination with only one 
other habitat type. Within the project area, 84 of 
the 132 breeding migrant birds use riparian 
vegetation for nesting, brooding, or foraging. 

Cottonwood, willow, and aspen provide critical 
food for beavers. Before the 1900s, prior to 
being trapped to very low population levels, 
beavers were a critical component of nearly all 
riparian areas along perennial streams. Beaver 
activity can significantly affect physical 
processes and habitat conditions within 
riparian areas. Beaver dams lead to flooding 
and expansion of floodplains, and the creation 
of wetland-riparian areas. These features help 
dissipate the erosive power of floods, trap 
sediment, and affect plants and animals 
associated with these areas. Beaver ponds 
provide and promote important habitat for 
many birds, mammals, and fish. 

Wetlands also provide important habitat for a 
variety of species, including resident and 
migratory birds (for example swallows, 
flycatchers, waterfowl, and shorebirds), 
mammals (bats, ungulates, and beavers), unique 
plant species (cattails, sedges, rushes, pond lilies, 
and willows), amphibians (salamanders and 
frogs), invertebrates (caddisflies, mayflies, and 






■^7^-^Tl 1 v-**« ^ ■«*> »-*-'V*B,fii'*K ■*./)«. j:, 



^'^^.V' 



!S..^s?Kr.>^*^^ 






Hff.^KHN- AKfiw A,vi> We J7.4.ms 



dragonflies) , and fish (chubs, suckers, and dace). 
Approximately 35 percent of the tlireatened, 
endangered, rare, and sensitive plant and animal 
species in the United States either reside in 
wetland areas or are otherwise dependent on 
them. Within eastern Oregon and Washington, 
terrestrial vertebrate species associated with 
wetland habitats include 28 neotropical migrant 
birds, 26 amphibians, and 2 reptiles (SER Model 
1996). Seasonal wetlands are often shallow and 
fill up quickly in early spring with the onset of 
groundwater recharge or thawing conditions. 
These areas provide critical habitat for birds 
because conditions are favorable for production 
of invertebrates, an important food supply for 
migratory birds. Permanent wetlands are usually 
deeper water bodies that provide habitat and food 
for animals throughout the spring and summer. 

Current Conditions of Riparian 
Areas and Wetlands 

Fur trappers, early surveyors, and settlers 
during the early 1800s reported extensive 
stands of cottonwoods, willows, and alders 
growing across valleys and along moist gulches 
and draws; and wide, wet meadows along 
stream systems throughout eastern Oregon and 
Washington. The Ochoco Mountains take their 
name from an American Indian word meaning 
"streams lined with willows" (Elmore 1992). 
Over the past 100 to 150 years, riparian areas 
and wetlands have been subject to increasingly 
concentrated and competing resource demands, 
including water withdrawal, mineral, sand and 



gravel extraction, human settlement, 
agricultural practices, timber harvest, livestock 
use, wildlife, and recreation. Because of this, 
many riparian areas and wetlands axe 
considerably altered from conditions noted by 
the first explorers. Riparian and wetland 
systems ai'e responsive and dynamic, and when 
modified, can significantly affect adjacent 
aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 

Riparian Areas 

In the western United States, 66 percent of 
inventoried BLM-administered riparian areas 
are either "non-functioning" or "functioning at 
risk" as defined in the process for assessing 
Proper Functioning Condition. Likewise, more 
than 75 percent of riparian areas administered 
by the Forest Service in the western United 
States are not "meeting or moving toward 
objectives" (Rangeland Reform '94 Final EIS). 

Key broad-scale trends identified in the 
Assessment (1996) are that riparian areas have 
been reduced in abundance and that there has 
been a significant increase in habitat 
fragmentation. Conversion of shrublands to 
cropland in deep soil areas, and to pastureland 
elsewhere, has been the major factor reducing 
the present extent of riparian areas. The 
ecological reporting units in eastern Oregon and 
Washington that have had the greatest loss of 
riparian shrublands are the Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6) and Columbia Plateau (ERU 5). 



/T 



\ 



Proper Functioning Condition - A Definition 

In response to the growing concerns over the integrity of ecological processes in many riparian areas and 
wetlands, the BLM has developed a process for assessing "Proper Functioning Condition." The BLM's Riparian- 
Wetland Initiative for the 1990s (USDl 1991) establishes national goals and objectives for managing riparian- 
wetland resources on BLM-administered lands. This initiative's two-part goal is to: (1) restore and maintain 
existing riparian-wetland areas so that 75 percent or more are in Proper Functioning Condition by 1997, and (2) 
to achieve and provide the widest variety of habitat diversity for wildlife, fish, and watershed protection. 

Riparian-wetland areas achieve Proper Functioning Condition when adequate vegetation, landform, or large 
woody debris is present to dissipate stream energy associated with high water flows. This thereby (1) reduces 
erosion and improves water quality; (2) filters sediment, captures bedload, and aids floodplain development; (3) 
improves floodwater retention and groundwater recharge; 

(4) develops root masses that stabilize streambanks against cutting action; (5) develops diverse ponding and 
channel characteristics to provide habitat and water depth, duration, and temperature necessary for fish 
production, waterfowl breeding, and other uses; and (6) supports greater biodiversity. The functioning 
condition of riparian-wetland areas is a result of the interaction among geology, soil, water, and vegetation 
(USDI 1993). 



By analyzing aerial photographs collected over 
the last 20 to 50 years, conducted as part of the 
Scientific Assessment [1996) of the project area, 
it was found that the successional and 
structural stage composition of riparian 
vegetation, particularly the coniferous forest 
riparian vegetation, has significantly changed. 
The extent of mid-seral riparian woodland has 
increased significantly over the last few 
decades, while the other serai stages are 
currently less abundant. These changes are 
primarily due to fire exclusion and suppression 
activities, and the harvest of large trees. The 
Northern Cascades (ERU 1) and Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6) have had particularly 
significant decreases in the large tree 
component of riparian areas. 

Two other patterns in riparian areas evident from 
the Assessment (1996) analysis are: (1) the 
conversion of shrublands to juniper woodlands, 
exotic grasses, and forbs: and (2) the conversion 
of aspen, cottonwood, and willow to conifer cover 
types. Juniper encroachment in riparian areas is 
likely a consequence of the combination of 
improper livestock grazing (which reduces 
competition, ground cover, and fine fuels), and 
the exclusion of fire. Expansion of western 
juniper has been most pronounced in the 
Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) , especially in central 
Oregon. There has also been significant 
conversion of deciduous vegetation, such as 
cottonwood and willows, to conifers, mainly 
Douglas-fir, above approximately 4,000 feet. This 
change is significant because deciduous trees 
tend to grow toward the light and more efficiently 
occupy openings above stream channels, thus 
creating more effective shade. Deciduous trees 
also annually supply extensive litter fall into 
streams, which is an important factor controlling 
local aquatic nutrient levels. 

On Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands 
within the planning area, major factors 
contributing to the decrease in riparian area 
function are improper livestock grazing, timber 
harvesting, fire management, conversion to 
crop and pastureland, road development, and 
dams, diversions, and/or pumping. In eastern 
Oregon, improper livestock grazing strategies 
have been identified by the Oregon 
Environmental Council (Hanson 1987) as the 
most important factor in contributing to 
deterioration of riparian areas in 1 1 different 
river basins. On forested landscapes, 
silvicultural practices (including fire 



suppression) and road building have had the 
most significant adverse effects on riparian 
areas. Most of these activities have affected 
riparian area processes and functions by 
changing flow regimes and channel morphology, 
thus resulting in changed interactions between 
the channel and floodplain; and by changing 
the structure, pattern, and composition of 
riparian vegetation, thereby changing the 
functions and habitats provided by native 
riparian vegetation. 

To a lesser extent, disturbances associated with 
recreational uses, urban development, and 
mining have also contributed to the decrease in 
functioning riparian areas at the scale of the 
planning area. 

Wetlands 

Since Euroamerican settlement, many 
wetlands have been drained, filled, sprayed 
with herbicides and pesticides, or logged, 
primarily to develop lands for agriculture, but 
also for residential, commercial, and 
industrial development. Oregon has lost 38 
percent of its wetlands, and Washington has 
lost 31 percent (Dahl 1990). In Washington, 
Dahl (1990) estimated that 90 percent of 
existing wetlands are in a "degraded" state 
and have a high degree of exotic plant and 
animal species invasion. Most of the 
remaining high quality wetlands in eastern 
Oregon and Washington are on ELM- and 
Forest Service-administered lands, primarily 
in alpine or sub-alpine environments, and on 
other federally managed lands such as 
National Wildlife Refuges managed by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Artificial wetlands contribute significantly to 
wetland habitats. These areas, such as 
Malheur Lake in eastern Oregon and those in 
the Columbia Plateau (ERU 6) , were created by 
flow impoundment, irrigation ponds, stream 
diversion, and agricultural wastewater. 
Additionally, wetland habitats have been 
affected by the invasion of non-native plants 
(such as purple loosestrife, saltcedar, and 
Russian olive) and introduced wildlife 
(including bullfrogs). On many sites, these 
non-native species have become well 
established, commonly replacing native species 
or exerting large influences on the functional 
dynamics of existing native habitats. 



.V'-^'-4*<nai[-£.^ t.i..A'.h.w*/»A^ 



Fish 



Key Terms Used in This Section 



% 



Anadromous ~ Fish that hatch in fresh water, migrate to the ocean, mature there, and return to fresh 
water to reproduce; for example, salmon and steelhead. 

Assemblage ~ A group of species. 

Biogeographic ~ Distribution of plants and animals in their environment over time and space. In 
recent years, this term has included the interactions between humans and the ecosystem. 

Endemic ~ Said of an organism that is restricted to a particular area or region under normal 
circumstances of environment. 

Eutrophication ~ Changes that occur in a lake or other body of water due to excessive supplies of 
nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates, usually from runoff from the surrounding land. 

Hybridization ~ The crossbreeding of unlike individuals to produce hybrids. 

Introgression ~ The introduction of genes from one species to another species; hybridization. 

Refugia ~ Areas that have not been exposed to great environmental changes and disturbances 
undergone by the region as a whole; refugia provide conditions suitable for survival of species that 
may be declining elsewhere. 

Resident fish ~ Fish that spend their entire life in freshwater. 

Salmonid ~ Fish of the family Salmonidae, including salmon, trout, chars, whitefish, ciscoes, and 
grayling. In general usage, the term often refers to salmon, trout, and chars. 

Strongholds (fish) ~ Watersheds tliat have the following characteristics: (1) presence of all major life- 
history forms (for example, resident, fluvial, and adfluvial) that historically occurred within the 
watershed; (2) numbers are stable or increasing, and the local population is likely to be at half or more of 
its historical size or density; (3) tlie population or metapopulation within the watershed, or within a 
larger region of which the watershed is a part, probably contains at least 5,000 individuals or 500 adults. 



Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦The composition, distribution, and status 
of fishes within the planning area are 
substantially different than they were 
historically. Some native fishes have 
been eliminated from large portions of 
their historical ranges. 

♦ Many native nongame fish are vulnerable 
because of their restricted distribution or 
fragile or unique habitats. 

♦Altfrough several of the key saknonids are 
still broadly distributed (notably the 
cutthroat ti'outs and redband trout), declines 
in abundance, loss of life fiistory patterns, 
local extinctions, and fragmentation and 



isolation in smaller blocks of high quality 
habitat are apparent. 

♦Wild Chinook salmon and steelhead are 
near extinction in a major part of their 
remaining distribution, in large part 
because of the construction and 
operation of mainstem dams on the 
Columbia and Snake rivers. 

♦ Habitat, hydropower, harvest, hatchery 
management, and irrigation withdrawals 
all affect the survival of remaining 
anadromous fish populations within the 
interior Columbia Fiiver Basin to different 
extents. Land management activities 
have affected the habitat for wild chinook 
and steelhead and have limited their 
spawning and rearing success. The 
contribution of freshwater habitat to 
declines in anadromous fish populations 



would be least in central Idaho (for 
example wilderness areas and other 
protected areas) , which is affected by the 
most dams between spawning and 
rearing areas and the ocean, and the 
northern Cascades, but greater in the 
lower Snake and mid-columbia 
drainages. The influence of hydropower 
on anadromous fish populations 
increases upriver where there are more 
dams between freshwater spawning and 
rearing areas and the ocean. Harvest, 
which has been curtailed in recent years, 
has less effect today than it did 
historically. Hatcheries are an important 
element throughout the basin, but their 
effect on native stocks is variable. 

♦ Core areas for rebuilding and 
maintaining biological diversity 
associated with native fishes still exist 
within the planning area. 



Klamath and Great Basin provinces. The upper 
Klamath Basin aquatic province is 
characterized by the upper Klamath and Agency 
lakes, which harbor a diverse community of 
specialized catostoinid (sucker] fishes. The 
Great Basin contains multiple sub-basins which 
have been isolated from each other and the 
ocean since the Pleistocene Age, approximately 
1.6 million years ago. Each basin is now 
characterized by largely or wholly internal 
drainage, resulting in highly endemic fish 
faunas. The distinctive native faunas of both 
the upper Klamath and Great basins bear little 
resemblance to that of the Columbia River 
Basin. Additionally, the Goose Lake Basin in 
southern Oregon could be considered a 
separate province. Goose Lake historically 
overflowed into the Pit I^ver in California and 
shares some species elements with the 
Sacramento River system as well as with the 
Great Basin. 



Fish are the dominant aquatic vertebrates and 
a key component of aquatic ecosystems. Fish 
are a critical resource to humans and have 
influenced the development, status, and 
success of social and economic systems within 
the project area. Fish are sensitive to 
disturbance, including the effects of landscape 
and watershed processes over large regions. 
The diversity and integrity of native fish 
communities provide useful indicators of aquatic 
ecosystem structure, function, and health. 

Current Conditions 

Like many portions of western North America, 
the project area has a moderately-sized, locally 
diverse fish fauna. The varied characteristics 
and distribution of native fishes mirror the 
diverse and dynamic physiography and geologic 
history of the region. The native fish fauna of 
the Columbia TUver drainage is unusual in that 
it clearly is not a single faunal unit, but rather 
is composed of several sub-basin faunas with 
limited species overlap among sub-basins. 

There are seven ichthyological (fish) provinces 
within the project area. Five are within the 
Columbia River Basin: upper Snake, Wood 
River, Glaciated Columbia, middle Columbia, 
and lower Columbia. The other two are the 



A number of fish species are also very narrowly 
distributed and indigenous either to the project 
area or to basins or sub-basins within the 
project area (see Map 2-24). These species, 
commonly called narrow endemic species, are 
found principally in Oregon and southern 
Idaho. The upper Klamath Basin is a 
particularly important area for endemism with 
up to six species found in a single watershed. 
Many of these species are associated with 
closed basins and many are truly isolated in 
relatively small watersheds. 

Native Fish Species 

There are presently 142 recognized species, 
subspecies, or races offish reported within the 
project area. Eighty-seven of these fish species 
are native and 55 species are non-native. 
Within the five aquatic provinces in the 
Columbia River Basin, there are 52 native fish 
species, 13 of which are found in no other river 
systeins. Compared to other large river 
systems, species richness (number of species) 
within the Columbia River Basin is quite low, 
which may be a reflection of the isolation of 
western rivers and the dynamic geologic history 
of the area compared to other large river basins 
with greater species richness. 

Native fish species tend to fall into two groups. 
The first group consists of 15 to 20 species that 




Map 2-24. 
Narrow Endemic Fish Species 



ULTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



7 '^^ Major Rivers 

^*V- Major Ri 

^'"^ EIS Area 



Number of , 

SP^^^'^s: EJZa 2 <^ Major Roads 

Border 



.> " ^ CO r^rea nuruer 

4 """^ Ecological Reporting Unit Border' 

5 O Cities and Towns 



*EcoloRica! re£ort;n|[ unit names and numbers are foLmdonMapM. 



are widely distributed or are reported in 20 
percent or more of the project area. The 
second group of roughly 60 species includes 
the narrow endemic or rarer species that have 
restricted ranges or are infrequtently reported. 
These species are generally found in less than 
five percent of the project area. 

In individual watersheds (5th-field hydrologic 
units) within the project area (see Table 2-3), 
the total number of native species ranges from 
to 28. The largest number of native species 
is found in the large river corridors, 
particularly the lower and mid- Columbia and 
lower Snake rivers. Fewer native fish species 
are found in headwater watersheds in the Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6). 

Many species of native fish and other aquatic 
biota are considered imperiled. There are 47 
special status species in the project area. 
Special status species include federally listed 
threatened or endangered species; federal 
candidate species; species recognized as 
requiring special protection by the States of 
Oregon, Washington, Idaho, or Montana; 
species managed as sensitive species by the 
Forest Service and/or BLM; and species 
recognized by the American Fisheries Society. 
Ten species in the project area are listed as 
threatened or endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act of 1973, one qualifies 
for listing (bull trout), and one has been 
petitioned for listing (steelhead) . Within the 
Eastside planning area, nine species are listed 
as threatened or endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act. The threatened 
species in the Eastside planning area are: 
Hutton tui chub, Foskett speckled dace, 
Warner sucker, and Lahontan cutthroat trout, 
and Spring, Summer, and Fall chinook salmon. 
The endangered species are the Snake River 
sockeye salmon, Borax Lake chub. Lost River 
sucker, and shortnose sucker. Appendix 2- 1 
contains maps showing the historical and 
current distributions of the chubs, suckers, 
dace, and trout. Salmon distribution maps are 
found later in the chapter. 

The list of special status species in the project 
area includes the white sturgeon (Acipenseridae); 
five lampreys (Petromyzontidae); sockeye, chum 



and coho salmon (Salmonidae); coastal and 
Lahontan cutthroat trout (Salmonidae); pygmy 
whitefish (Salmonidae); burbot (Gadidae); 11 
minnows (Cyprinidae) ; six suckers (Catostomidae) ; 
eight sculpins (Cottidae); and Sunapee char, an 
introduced species (see Table 2-17). Twenty- two 
of these species occur in the Great Basin and 
Klamath Basin portions of the project area. 
Within the Columbia River Basin, eight occur 
entirely or primarily in the mainstem river 
system, three are restricted to the upper Snake 
River system (including the Wood River), two 
are restricted to the upper Columbia River 
(primarily in the Northern Glaciated Mountains 
ERU 7), two occupy streams in the middle and 
upper Columbia Basin, and one is restricted to 
the Blue Mountains in the middle Columbia 
River Basin. 

Many factors contribute to the current 
condition of depressed fish populations and 
reduced distribution of native species. (See 
Table 2-18.) Hydroelectric development 
disrupts migration of anadromous forms. 
Irrigation diversions and water withdrawal, and 
the loss of wetlands, marshes, and 
interconnected waterways alters habitats for 
many species, especially in arid regions. 
Silvicultural practices, improper livestock 
grazing, and urbanization degrade habitat by 
changing flow patterns, changing patterns of 
sedimentation and erosion, increasing water 
temperatures, and causing eutrophication. 
Especially threatened are those species (such 
as the Foskett speckled dace and Hutton tui 
chub) that are dependent on springs. 

Management of many special status fishes is 
hindered by the agencies' lack of information. 
The best information available is for the 
salmonids and for a few select species that 
have attracted the attention of researchers. In 
many cases, species distribution, life history, 
and habitat characteristics are uncertain. 
More detailed information for wide-ranging 
salmonids is presented in the section entitled 
Salmonids. 

Introduced Species 

In addition to the native fishes, numerous non- 
native fish species now occupy the project area. 



K '^,,^ft^X^'K'«.-Writf . 



Table 2-17. Narrow Endemic and Special Status Fish Species in the Project Area. 



Narrow Endemic 



Conservation Status 
(as of July 1, 1996) 



X 
X 



X 



X 
X 
X 
X 
X 

X 

X 
X 

X 
X 
X 

X 



X 

X 
X 

X 
X 



X 



X 



3 
1,2 

3 

2 

3 

3 

3 

3 

3 
1.2 

3 

3 

3 
1,2 

3 



1,2 

1,2 

3 

3 

1,2 
3 
2 
3 
3 
3 
3 
3 
3 

1,2 
3 

1,2 
1,2 
3 
3 
3 
3 

1,2 

3 

3 

1,2,3 

3 



1 = federally listed as endangered or threatened 

2 = state listed as endangered or threatened 

3 = candidate and/or species of concern 

Source: Lee et al. (1996). 



Common Name 



Alvord chub 

Borax Lake chub 

Bull trout 

Burbot 

Catlow tui chub 

Catlow Valley redband trout 

Chum salmon 

Coastal cutthroat 

Coho salmon 

Foskett speckled dace 

Goose Lake lamprey 

Goose Lake sucker 

Goose Lake tui chub 

Hutton tui chub 

Interior redband trout 

Klamath Lake sculpin 

Klamath largescale sucker 

Klamath River lamprey 

Klamath speckled dace 

Lahontan cutthroat trout 

Lost River sucker 

Malheur sculpin 

Margined sculpin 

Ocean-type chinook salmon 

Oregon Lakes tui chub 

Pacific lamprey 

Pit roach 

Pit sculpin 

Pygmy whitefish 

Sand roller 

Sheldon tui chub 

Shorthead sculpin 

Shortnose sucker 

Slender sculpin 

Sockeye (kokanee) salmon 

Stream-type chinook salmon 

Summer Basin tui chub 

Summer steelhead 

Torrent sculpin 

Warner Basin tui chub 

Warner sucker 

Warner Valley redband trout 

Westslope cutthroat trout 

White sturgeon 

Winter steelhead 



'm30Mm::S^-r. 



Table 2-18. Key Factors Influencing Status for Rare Fish in Eastern Oregon and Washington. 

Water Water Forestry Non-native Limited 

Species Dams quality quantity Harvest Livestock practices Hatchery interactions distribution 



Alvord chub 

Borax Lake chub 

Burbot 

Catlow tui chub 

Chum salmon 

Coastal cutthroat trout 

Coho salmon 

Foskett speckled dace 

Goose Lake sucker 

Goose Lake lamprey 

Hutton tui chub 

Klamath largescale sucker 

Klamath River lamprey 

Lahontan cutthroat trout 

Lost River sucker 

Malheur sculpin 

Margined sculpin 

Oregon Lakes tui chub 

Pacific lamprey 

Pit roach 

Pit sculpin 

Pit-Klamath brook lamprey 

Pygmy whitefish 

River lamprey 

Sand roller 

Sheldon tui chub 

Shorthead sculpin 

Shortnose sucker 

Slender sculpin 

Sockeye salmon 

Summer Basin tui chub 

Torrent sculpin 

Warner sucker 

White sturgeon 







X 




X 








X 


X 




X 






X 




X 




X 






X 


:?t 




X 
X 




X 
X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 


X 
X 


X 
X 




X 
X 
X 


X 




X 


X 


X 




X 


X 




X 


X 


X 
X 




X 






X 


X 
X 
X 


X 




X 
X 
X 
X 


X 
X 
X 




X 


X 
X 
X 
X 
X 


X 


X 


X 
X 


X 

X 
X 

X 




X 


X 
X 






X 
X 


X 




X 


X 
X 






X 


X 




X 




X 
X 


X 


X 








X 


X 




X 


X 




X 




X 




X 







X 



X 



X 
X 
X 

X 

X 



X 

X 
X 

X 

X 



X 
X 

X 



X 
X 



X 



X 



Source: Lee et al. (1996). 



:sws«55fts 



The History of Forest Service and BLM Management of Anadromous Fish 

Federally managed lands in the Columbia River Basin contain more than 60 percent of the remaining accessible 
spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous salmonids. In response to the evidence for declining populations, and 
the importance of Forest Service- and BLIVl-administered lands for maintenance and rebuilding of existing populations, 
these agencies have developed and implemented several strategies intended to maintain and enhance anadromous fish 
habitat. One objective of these plans was to meet the goals and objectives of the Northwest Power Planning Council 
(NWPPC), which was chartered in 1981 to restore a sustainable anadromous fishery within the Columbia River Basin. 
The Forest Service and BLM have cooperated with the NWPPC, the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), state fish 
and game agencies, and tribal governments in an effort to manage anadromous fish habitats. 

The Forest Service and BLM have existing land use plans that were prepared prior to 1990 which address anadromous 
and resident fish habitat management. These plans are not species- or watershed-specific. They provide for Forest 
Service and BLM management to maintain and enhance habitat and to meet existing federal laws such as the Clean 
Water Act. 

In January 1991, the Forest Service developed a Columbia River Basin Anadromous Fish Policy which set forth a 
consistent plan for management of anadromous fish habitat within the Columbia River Basin. The policy contained a 
policy implementation guide which outlined procedures for establishing objectives for anadromous fish production, 
described desired future conditions, identified habitat inventory needs, and developed monitoring strategies. This 
policy is still in place, but will be replaced by direction from the Record of Decision developed from this EIS. 

The Forest Service and BLM participated in the Hatfield Salmon Summit coordinated by the NWPPC. On May 1, 1991, 
at the conclusion of the Summit, a Salmon Accord was signed by all of the participants. As a participant in the Accord, 
the Forest Service was committed to full implementation of the policy implementation guide. The Forest Service and 
BLM jointly committed to (1) accelerate range management practices to benefit anadromous fish habitat, (2) provide the 
NWPPC with a listing of private land holdings within Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands that were possibly 
available for acquisition, (3) provide the NWPPC a listing of all unscreened irrigation diversions and require that when 
existing permits were renewed, screening would be a condition of the permit, and (4) intensify mineral management 
administration. Of these commitments, both the Forest Service and BLM were able to provide the NWPPC with a listing 
of diversions, their screening status, and a listing of lands potentially available for acquisition. Full implementation of 
the policy implementation guide, and accelerated range and mineral management were not achieved due to funding 
limitations and new priorities such as development of the Northwest Forest Plan, PACFISH, and consultation for listed 
sockeye and chinook in the Snake River Basin (under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act). 

In 1992, the Regional Foresters requested the Chief of the Forest Service assist in the development of a 
comprehensive anadromous fish strategy for all lands administered by the Forest Service in Alaska, California, the 
Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountains. Before completion of this task, however, Alaska was withdrawn from 
this process. In March 1993, The Forest Service and BLM announced their commitment to develop a common 
strategy for management of Pacific salmon and steelhead habitats (PACFISH). The strategy encompassed 
approximately 15 million acres of Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in the Columbia River Basin and 1 
million acres of Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in California. 

The development of the Northwest Forest Plan postponed completion of PACFISH from April 1993 to early 1994 , as 
many of the technical staff previously assigned to PACFISH were needed to complete the Northwest Forest Plan. The 
Record of Decision for the Northwest Forest Plan was signed April 13, 1994, greatly reducing the area covered by 
PACFISH, because the aquatic strategy in the Record of Decision covered the range of the northern spotted owl (see 
Map 1-3). 

In 1993, the BLM developed their anadromous fish strategy. It remains in place and is being updated in 1996. Their 
strategy includes all BLM-administered lands supporting anadromous fish. 

The PACFISH strategy, signed by the Chief of the Forest Service and the Director of the BLM in February 1995, 
outlined and established a short-term strategy for anadromous fish habitat management to be replaced by long- 
term direction developed through the Eastside and Upper Columbia River Basin (UCRB) Environmental Impact 
Statements. PACFISH established interim goals and objectives, identified areas that most influence the quality of 
water and fish habitat, provided special protective standards to guide management activities that may damage 
those areas, outlined monitoring requirements to track how well agencies follow the standards, and evaluated the 
effectiveness of these measures. 

An inland native fish strategy (INFISH) was developed and implemented in July 1995 to protect resident fish outside of 
anadromous fish habitat on Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in eastern Oregon, eastern Washington, Idaho, 
western Montana, and portions of Nevada (see Map 1-3). This strategy is similar in content to PACFISH, and will also 
y^be replaced by decisions from the Eastside and UCRB EISs. y 















Most of these non-native species have been 
purposely introduced to promote sport fishing 
opportunities. Introduced salmonids (such as 
hatchery rainbow trout), centrarchids (such as 
bass and sunfish), and percids (such as 
walleye) support much if not most of the sport 
fishing opportunity in the project area. The 
introduced species are permanent components 
of the aquatic ecosystem and have social and 
economic importance. They tend to be well- 
adapted to altered conditions in aquatic 
environments, and have contributed to the 
decline of native fish and other native aquatic 
biota through competition, predation, and 
hybridization. 

Some of these non-native fish species are now 
pervasive. The most frequently reported fish 
species in the project area is introduced 
rainbow trout, occupying 78 percent of the 
watersheds. Introduced brook trout is also well 
distributed, occupying 50 percent of the 
watersheds in the project area. Sixteen (32 
percent) of the 50 most-reported species are 
game fishes. 

Recreation centered on non-native fisheries is 
highly valued within the project area, and 
many watersheds support important wild trout 
fisheries for introduced salmonids such as 
brook, brown, rainbow, and lake trout. Habitat 
in these watersheds remains suitable for 
natural reproduction of salmonids. although 
native salmonids may be depressed or extinct 
because of displacement by non-native game fish. 
For example, in the upper Deschutes River in 
Oregon a renowned wild trout fishery of non- 
native brook, brown, rainbow, and lake trout has 
at least partly displaced native salmonids. 

Salmonids 
Historical Overview 

Salmon, perhaps more than any other single 
resource, have helped define the Pacific 
Northwest. Most native peoples shared a major 
dependence on salmon as a subsistence and 
ceremonial resource. Historically, salmon 
occurred in nearly every primary stream and 
river not blocked by major falls. Before the 
first white settlers arrived (in the early 1 800s) , 
salmon were abundant and diverse. Estimates 
of historic run size for all species of salmon and 
steelhead in the Columbia River ranged from 
10 to 16 million adults. The first commercial 



cannery operations began on the Columbia in 
1866 and production soon exceeded 
sustainable levels. Commercial catches of 
Chinook salmon peaked during 1883, when 43 
million pounds offish were landed. Coho, 
sockeye, chum and steelhead were also 
abundant in the Columbia River Basin. The 
catch of coho salmon peaked at 6.8 million 
pounds in 1895, whereas the catch of sockeye 
and steelhead peaked at 4.5 million and 4.9 
million pounds respectively. 

Overfishing was blamed for broad declines in 
Chinook salmon runs by the late 1800s, and 
by 1900 certain fishing gears were banned to 
provide some protection to spawning runs. 
By that time, however, impacts from mining, 
timber harvest, livestock grazing, and 
agriculture (including irrigation diversions) 
had begun. Construction of massive 
mainstem dams and dams on smaller streams 
followed. During and immediately after World 
War II, timber harvest and road building 
rapidly increased. Urbanization pressures, 
river channelization, pollution, and other 
impacts from the increasing human 
population began to become evident by the 
1960s. Numerous stocks of all species of 
salmon, steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat 
trout have declined significantly. The Snake 
River sockeye salmon is now federally listed 
as endangered under the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973. 

Mainstem dams and hydropower operations are 
cited as dominant factors in the decline of the 
region's fisheries. Construction and operation 
of mainstem dams on the Columbia, Snake, 
and Klamath rivers is considered the major 
cause of decline of anadromous fish. 
Hydroelectric development changed Columbia 
and Snake river migration routes from mostly 
free-flowing in 1938 to a series of 
impoundments by 1975, and reservoir storage 
activities have reduced flows in most years 
during smolt migration. Major dams in the 
project area are shown on Map 2-25. 

Many resident salmonids (non-anadromous 
forms such as bull trout), which are not 
subject to the migratory pressures exerted on 
anadromous fish by hydropower operations, 
are also declining. Bull trout, once widely 
distributed in central Oregon, Washington, 
Idaho, and western Montana has been 
determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to warrant pi-otection under the 




Map 2^5. 
Major Dams 



50 50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



• Dam Location ^'-^ Major Rivers 

(Capacity > 50 acre feet) ^ ^^.^^ ^^^^^ 

''^^ £IS Area Border 



Project Area 
1996 



■,"'"A '■"■?«'';'«!■ 






Endangered Species Act. Bull trout is 
cuiTently a candidate species - a species for 
which U.S. Fish and Wildlife has enough 
information to support a listing proposal. 
Strong and genetically pure populations of 
westslope cutthroat trout now occupy only a 
fraction of their range in the project area. 
Redband trout within the project area are 
poorly understood, yet many sub-basins 
appear to contain declining populations of 
genetically unique strains. The significant 
declines in resident stream salmonid 
populations are indicative of broad changes 
in aquatic conditions. Overall changes in the 
distribution of salmonid species is portrayed 
in Maps 2-26 and 2-27. 



/f 



^ 



For the following discussion, "strong" 
watersheds have the following 
characteristics; (1) all major life history 
forms that historically occurred within the 
watershed are present; (2) numbers are 
stable or increasing and the local fish 
population is likely to be at half or more of 
its historical size or density; and (3) the fish 
population or metapopulation within the 
watershed, or within a larger region of which 
the watershed is a part, probably contains at 
least 5,000 individuals or 500 adults. 



Bull trout, westslope cutthroat trout, Yellowstone 
cutthroat trout, resident redband trout, 
steelhead, and ocean-type and stream-type 
Chinook are seven "key salmonids" selected by 
the Science Integration Team as being broodiy 
representative of the state of aquatic biota in the 
project area. The Assessment (1996) focused on 
a select group of salmonids for several reasons: 
(1) This group of fishes has important social and 
cultural values; (2) knowledge about these fishes 
is greater than for other species, and thus 
environmental relationships are likely to be more 
apparent; (3) these fishes are widely distributed, 
which allows for broad-scale comparisons; 
(4) salmonids act as predators, competitors, and 
prey for a variety of other aquatic and terrestrial 
species, and are therefore likely to influence the 
structure and function of aquatic ecosystems, 
and may serve as links to energy and nutrient 
flows with terrestrial systems; (5) different 
salmonid species and life stages often use widely 
divergent habitats that expose individual 
populations to a wide variety of threats, thus 
integrating cumulative effects of environmental 



change over broad areas: and (6) the status of 
these key salmonids can be thought of as a 
general indicator of aquatic ecosystem health. 
Problems encountered by these species probably 
can be assumed to be similar to those facing 
many aquatic species throughout the project and 
planning areas. 

Key Salmonids 

Bull Trout 

Bull trout are recognized as a species of special 
concern by state management agencies and the 
American Fisheries Society, and as a sensitive 
species by the Forest Service and BLM. The 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers bull 
trout a candidate species under the 
Endangered Species Act. Bull trout are found 
in many of the major river systems within the 
project area, but spawning and rearing 
populations are believed to be primarily 
restricted to cold and relatively pristine waters, 
often headwaters of most basins. Current and 
historical distributions of bull trout are 
illustrated on Map 2-28. 

The historical range of bull trout is restricted to 
North America. Within the project area, bull 
trout have been recorded in the upper Klamath 
Basin in Oregon, and throughout much of 
interior Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and western 
Montana. It is estimated that the historical 
range of bull trout included about 60 percent of 
the project area. It is unlikely, however, that bull 
trout occupied all accessible streams at any one 
time due to climate and habitat selection. 

Bull trout are presently known or estimated to 
occur in 44 percent of historically occupied 
watersheds. Bull trout are still widely 
distributed throughout the project area, with 
the largest population blocks in north central 
Idaho and northwestern Montana. Bull trout 
also remain within the Northern Cascades 
(ERU 1), Southern Cascades (ERU 2), Upper 
Klamath (ERU 3), and Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10). 
Current information indicates that despite its 
relatively broad distribution, this species has 
experienced widespread decline. There is 
evidence of declining trends in some populations, 
and recent extinctions of local populations have 
been reported. Distribution of existing 
populations is often patchy, even where 
numbers are still strong and habitat is good. 



Spawning and rearing of bull trout appears to 
be limited to the coldest streams or stream 
reaches. The lower limits of habitat used by- 
bull trout are strongly associated with 
gradients in elevation, longitude, and latitude 
that may approximate a gradient in climate 
across the project area. The patterns indicate 
that variation in climate has and will strongly 
influence habitat available for bull trout. While 
temperatures are probably suitable throughout 
much of the northern portion of the range, 
spawning and rearing habitat is restricted to 
increasingly isolated high elevation or 
headwater "islands" toward the south. 

Management-related changes influencing 
stream temperatures and hydrologic regimes 
are all likely to be important to some, if not 
most, populations. Populations are likely to be 
most sensitive to changes in headwater areas 
encompassing critical spawning and rearing 
habitat and remnant populations. 

More than 30 non-native species occupy the 
present distribution of bull trout. Brown 
trout, brook trout, and lake trout have 
probably depressed or replaced many local 
bull trout populations. Brook trout are an 
especially important competitor and may 
progressively displace bull trout through 
hybridization and a higher reproductive 
potential. Brook trout now occupy the 
majority of watersheds representing the 
current range of bull trout. These non-native 
fish may pose the most risk to native species 
at sites where habitat has been affected by 
other disturbances. 

Historically, bull trout populations were well 
connected throughout the Columbia River 
Basin. Habitat available to bull trout has been 
fragmented, and in many cases, entirely 
isolated. Dams have isolated whole sub-basins 
throughout the project area. Irrigation 
diversions, culverts, and degraded mainstem 
habitats have eliminated or seriously affected 
migratory corridors, thus depressing migratory 
populations and effectively isolating remnant 
populations in headwater tributaries. Loss of 
suitable habitat through watershed 
disturbance may also increase the distance 
between quality habitats and between strong 
populations, thus reducing the likelihood of 
effective dispersal and gene mixing. Further 
isolation of populations will probably lead to 
increasing rates of extinction that are 
disproportional to the simple loss of habitat area. 



Summary by Ecological Reporting Unit. The 

core of the remaining bull trout distribution is 
in the Upper Columbia River Basin planning 
area (Central Idaho Mountains, ERU 13), with 
important strongholds still evident or likely 
within the Northern Glaciated Mountains 
(ERU 7), Blue Mountains (ERU 6), Upper Clark 
Fork (ERU 8), and Lower Clark Fork (ERU 9). 
Bull trout in the Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10) 
represent an important area of genetic diversity. 

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout 

The Yellowstone cutthroat trout is one of the 
seven key salmonids studied by the Science 
Integration Team; however it does not inhabit 
the Eastside planning area so it is not 
discussed in the Eastside EIS. See the Upper 
Columbia F^ver Basin Draft EIS or the 
Assessment (1996) for more information. 

Westslope Cutthroat Trout 

Westslope cutthroat trout were once abundant 
throughout much of the north and central 
Columbia River Basin. Although still widely 
distributed, remaining populations may be 
seriously compromised by habitat loss and 
hybridization. They are presently considered a 
sensitive species by the Forest Service and 
BLM, and of special concern by both the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service state management 
agencies in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and 
Montana. Current and historical distribution 
of westslope cutthroat trout are illustrated on 
Map 2-29. 

Westslope cutthroat trout had the largest 
historical distribution of all subspecies of 
cutthroat trout. Cutthroat trout were first 
recorded by the Lewis and Clark expedition. 
From early explorer accounts, it is believed they 
were extremely abundant. Wherever habitat is 
suitable and watersheds are accessible, 
westslope cutthroat trout are commonly found. 
Westslope cutthroat trout probably also 
occupied most of the large natural lakes within 
the range. The historical range of westslope 
cutthroat trout encompassed about 35 percent 
of the project area. 

Westslope cutthroat trout are still widely 
distributed within their historical range, with 
some extension through hatchery 
introductions. It is estimated that westslope 
cutthroat trout are still present in at least 85 
percent of their historical range. This broad 







Map 2-26. 

Key Salmonid Presence 

Historical 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



50 50 100 150 km 



■"""^ One -^-^ Major Rivers 

E^aS Two ^^^ Major Roads 

Number of 1—23 ihree ^^^ EIS Area Border 

Species: c^ p^^,^ 

^^ Six 







Map 2-27. 

Key Salmonid Presence 

Current 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



50 50 100 150 km 



One -^^ Major Rivers 

Two ^V^ Major Roads 

Number of En33 Three ^^^ EIS Area Border 
Species: ^ 



four 
Five 
Six 







Map 2^8. 

Distribution of 

Bull Trout 



so 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



^ Historical Range ''^'^ Major Rivers 
™1 Current Range <^^ Major Roads 
H Known Strong ^^^ I- IS Area Border 



Populations 



■""^^ Ecological Reporting 
Unit Border* 



"Ecological reporting unit name-s and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 




Map 2^9. 

Distribution of 

Westslope Cutthroat Trout 



50 100 150 km 



IP^TERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Aiea 
1996 



-^ Historical Range -^^^ Major Rivers 
^^ Current Range ■^'^ Major Roads 

HB Known Strong ^"^"^ f/5 Area Border 

Populations ,^, r i ■ i r. 

"^^ Ecological Reporting 

Unit Border* 



"Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 



distribution suggests that, overall, westslope 
cutthroat trout are secure, but this conclusion 
must be tempered by uncertainty regarding the 
genetic integrity of remaining populations. 
Most current wild populations are depressed, 
and hybridization, fragmentation, and the loss 
of migratory populations have limited healthy 
populations to a much smaller proportion of 
their historical range. 

Cutthroat trout and rainbow trout are closely 
related, but they have remained reproductively 
distinct where they co-evolved. Where non- 
native rainbow trout have been introduced, 
hybridization is widespread. 

Westslope cutthroat trout are a prized game 
fish. Fishing has probably led to the 
elimination of some small populations, 
especially migratoiy fish in some river systems. 
Consequently, special fish harvest restrictions 
have been implemented to improve or maintain 
most westslope cutthroat trout populations. 

Construction of dams, irrigation diversions, or 
other migration barriers have isolated or 
eliminated westslope cutthroat trout habitats 
that were once available to migratory 
populations. Resident forms may persist in 
isolated segments of streams, but the potential 
for long-term persistence is compromised by 
the loss of migratoiy life-history and 
connectivity with other populations potentially 
important to gene flow or population dynamics. 

Most existing strong fish populations are 
largely in roadless areas designated 
wildernesses, and National Parks, suggesting 
that human disturbances have influenced 
distribution and abundance. In general, strong 
populations are thought to be primarily 
associated with areas of limited human 
influence and the associated potential effects of 
fishing, watershed disturbance, and non-native 
fish introductions. 

Summary by Ecological Reporting Unit. The 

core distribution for presently strong 
populations is in the UCFffi Planning area 
(Central Idaho Mountains ERU 13) where many 
populations appear secure. Other important 
blocks of known or likely strongholds are in the 
Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7] and 
Upper Clark Fork (ERU 8). Persistence of 
westslope cutthroat trout in ERUs 7 and 8 
appears likely, although these areas are also 
more fragmented and restricted to a relatively 



small portion of the historical distribution. The 
Northern Cascades (ERU 1) may support 
important populations of westslope cutthroat 
trout which are geographically distinct from the 
main distribution. Westslope cutthroat trout 
probably were never widely distributed within 
the Blue Mountains (ERU 6) or Columbia 
Plateau (ERU 5) where only remnant or isolated 
populations exist now. 

Redband Trout ("Resident" and 
"Resident-Interior") 

The redband trout (native rainbow trout) is a 
widely distributed western North America 
native salmonid. Of the seven key salmonids, 
redband trout originally had the widest 
distribution, occupying 73 percent of the 
watersheds within the project area. The only 
major portions of the project area that 
historically did not support redbands were the 
Snake River upstream from Shoshone Falls, 
tributaries to the Spokane River above Spokane 
Falls, and portions of the northern Great Basin 
in Oregon. 

Redband trout within the project area have two 
distinct life histories, anadromous (steelhead) 
or non-anadromous (freshwater resident). For 
purposes of the Scientific Assessment (1996), 
freshwater resident redbands were further 
divided into resident-interior and resident. The 
"resident-interior" subdivision encompasses 
native non-anadromous redband trout outside 
the range of the steelhead, whereas the 
"resident" form encompasses those populations 
that exist within the range of steelhead. Both 
current and historical distributions of redband 
trout are illustrated on Map 2-30. 

Resident and resident-interior redband trout 
are considered species of special concern by the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, American 
Fisheries Society, and all states within their 
historical range, and are classified as sensitive 
species by the Forest Service and BLM. 

Collectively, resident and resident-interior 
redband trout currently may be the most widely 
distributed key salmonid in the project area. The 
known and estimated distribution of both forms 
of redbands include 65 percent of the historical 
range. Resident redbands are the more widely 
distributed of the two forms; the known and 
estimated dishlbution includes 69 percent of the 
historical range. The largest areas of unoccupied 
historical habitat are in the Owyhee Uplands 




Map 2-30. 
Distribution of 
Redband Trout 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



I J Historical Range -^^ Major Rivers 

f~~~~l Currenl Range ^*^ Mdjor Roads 
«■«• /Cnown Strong ''^^ £/5 Area Border 



PopulaLions 



•''^^ Ecological Reporting 
Unit Border* 



Project Ai'ea 
1996 



*Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map /-!. 



(ERU 10) and Columbia Plateau (ERU 5). 
Resident-interior redbands are not as widely 
distributed and are currently found or 
anticipated in 50 percent of the identified 
historical range. The distribution and status of 
native redband trout may be more depressed 
than these estimates indicate because of 
hybridization with stocked rainbow trout. 
Preliminary status reviews in Idaho, Oregon, and 
Montana generally support this concern. 

Less is known about the current distribution of 
redband trout than any of the other key 
salmonids. One reason for the lack of 
information is the inability to differentiate 
Juvenile steelhead and resident redbands. 
Therefore the status of resident redbands was 
considered "unknown" when steelhead were 
present in a watershed. 

Despite their broad distribution, relatively few 
strong resident redband populations exist. 
Known or predicted strong areas include 17 
percent of the historical range and 24 percent 
of the present range. Only 30 percent of the 
watersheds supporting spawning and rearing 
populations were classified as having strong 
populations. Resident-interior redband trout 
also have few remaining strong populations ~ 
current strong populations encompass 10 
percent of their historical range and 20 percent 
of their present range. 

Interior redband habitats have been altered 
by a variety of land use practices. Reduction 
in streamflow because of water diversion for 
irrigation threatens many populations in the 
southern portion of their range. Increased 
water temperatures have also been a factor, 
especially in drier, warmer areas. 
Temperature increases largely are due to loss 
or conversion of riparian vegetation. 

There have also been extensive channel 
alterations associated with flood-control 
projects, floodplain development, and road 
construction within the range of redbands. 
Channel alterations adversely affect stream 
hydraulics, nutrient pathways, invertebrate 
production, and fish production. Redband 
trout appear to have evolved over a broader 
range of environmental conditions than the 
other key salmonids, and appear to have less 
specific habitat requirements. Their apparent 
persistence even in some heavily disturbed 
basins suggests they are more resilient than 



other species. Therefore, the loss of a redband 
population could be a strong indication of 
disruption in the aquatic ecosystem processes. 

Summary by Ecological Reporting Unit. 

Resident redbands (those associated with or 
derived from steelhead] are known or predicted to 
be widely distributed in large blocks of suitable 
habitat in the Northern Cascades (ERU 1), Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6), and Central Idaho 
Mountains (ERU 13). These watersheds 
represent the core of the distribution associated 
with or derived from steelhead and appear to be 
relatively secure, although hybridization with 
introduced rainbow trout is a potentially serious, 
but unevaluated threat. There are also known or 
suspected populations within the Southern 
Cascades (ERU 2), Upper Klamath (ERU 3), 
Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10), and Northern 
Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) that have all been 
recently isolated from steelhead by dams. These 
populations appear to be far more fragmented 
and probably less secure than populations within 
the core. Because these latter populations are 
vwthin the fringe of the range of redbands 
historically associated with steelhead, these 
populations may represent important sources of 
genetic diversity. 

Resident-interior redband trout (those that 
evolved outside the range of steelhead) within 
portions of the Northern Glaciated Mountains 
(ERU 7), Northern Great Basin (ERU 4), 
Columbia Plateau (ERU 5), Central Idaho 
Mountains (ERU 13), and Owyhee Uplands 
(ERU 10) have been isolated from steelhead 
over geologic time. Resident-interior redband 
populations appear to have declined most in 
the Northern Great Basin (ERU 4) and 
Columbia Plateau (ERU 5), where 72 percent of 
their historical range is presently unoccupied 
and there. are few remaining strong 
populations. Remaining populations appear to 
be severely fragmented and restricted to small 
blocks of known or potential habitat. These 
areas likely represent a critical element of the 
evolutionary history for this species. 

Steelhead 

Interior steelhead, the anadromous form of 
redband trout, are distributed within the 
Columbia IRiver Basin as two major forms, 
Winter and Summer; although interior 
steelhead are primarily Summer-run. Winter- 
run steelhead enter fresh water three to four 



!IK.t-'. - 






months prior to spawning, and Summer-run 
steelhead enter fresh water nine to ten months 
prior to spawning. 

The distribution and abundance of steelhead 
have declined from historical levels as a result 
of mortality at and between dams, habitat 
degradation, loss of access to historical habitat, 
overharvest, and interactions with hatchery- 
reared and exotic fishes. Most of the current 
populations are hatchery-reared. Numerous 
state and federal management agencies list 
remaining wild steelhead populations as 
species of special concern. The American 
Fisheries Society considers all stocks of winter 
steelhead upstream from Bonneville Dam to be 
at high or moderate risk of extinction, and 
most summer steelhead stocks are considered 
to be at moderate risk of extinction or of special 
concern. Concern for the persistence of 
steelhead stocks resulted in 1994 petitions to 
the National Marine Fisheries Service for review 
of the species status under the Endangered 
Species Act. Steelhead represent a key species 
because of their broad distribution, value as a 
sport and commercial fish, and importance as a 
tribal ceremonial and subsistence resource. 
Current and historical distributions of steelhead 
are Illustrated on Map 2-3 1 . 

The historical range of steelhead includes all 
fresh water west of the Rocky Mountains, 
extending from northwest Mexico to the Alaska 
Peninsula with access to the Pacific Ocean. 
Steelhead were present in most streams, 
including many intermittent streams, that were 
accessible to anadromous fish, occupying 
approximately 50 percent of watersheds in the 
project area including the Klamath Basin. This 
included all accessible tributaries to the Snake 
River downstream from Shoshone and Spokane 
Falls and accessible tributaries to the Columbia 
River. In total, approximately 10,523 miles of 
stream were accessible to steelhead in the 
Columbia River Basin including Canada, 
although it is unlikely that steelhead occupied 
all reaches of all accessible streams because 
water temperature factors may have restricted 
distribution. Steelhead formerly ascended the 
Snake River and spawned in reaches of Salmon 
Falls Creek, Nevada, more than 900 miles from 
the ocean. 

Historical steelhead runs were large. It is 
reported that the commercial steelhead catch 
peaked in the late 1890s at 4.9 million pounds. 



Initial estimates of run sizes were derived after 
Bonneville Dam was constructed in 1938. In 
1940, 423,000 Summer steelhead passed the 
dam. Annual sport harvests averaged 1 17,000 
Summer-run and 62,000 Winter-run fish from 
1962 to 1966. 

Steelhead are still the most widely distributed 
anadromous salmonid in the project area; 
however, they are extinct in large portions of 
their historical range. Presently occupied 
watersheds encompass approximately 45 
percent of the historically occupied 
watersheds. Steelhead are extinct in the 
Lower Clark Fork and Owyhee Uplands. 
Within the Columbia F^ver Basin in the 
United States and Canada, approximately 75 
percent of the stream mileage within their 
historical range is no longer accessible. 
Within their current distribution, few healthy 
wild steelhead populations exist. Watersheds 
known or estimated to support strong 
spawning and rearing populations of wild 
steelhead represent 0.6 percent of the 
historical range and 1.3 percent of the 
current range. Some 98 percent of the 
watersheds where steelhead spawn and rear 
are classified as containing depressed 
populations of wild steelhead. 

Existing steelhead populations are composed of 
four main types: wild, natural (non-native 
progeny spawning naturally), hatchery, and 
mixes of natural and hatchery fish. Production 
of wild anadromous fish in the Columbia River 
Basin has declined by about 95 percent from 
historical levels. Most existing steelhead 
production is supported by hatchery and 
natural fish as a result of large-scale hatchery 
mitigation production programs. By the late 
1960s, hatchery production surpassed wild 
production in the Columbia FHver Basin. Wild 
fish, unaltered by hatchery stocks, are rare and 
are present in only 10 percent of the historical 
range and 25 percent of the current 
distribution. Remaining wild stocks are 
concentrated in reaches of the John Day River 
Basin in Oregon and the Salmon River in 
Central Idaho. 

Steelhead must navigate past as many as eight 
mainstem dams. Adults are delayed during 
upstream migrations, and smolts may be killed 
by turbines; become disoriented or injured, 
making them more susceptible to predation; or 
become delayed in the large impoundments 




Map 2-31. 

Distribution of 

Steelhead Trout 



50 



100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



^ I Historical Range ^''-^ Ivlajor Rivers 
^BS Current Kange 



Knowr) Strong 
Populations 



^^V- Major Roads 

''^^ EIS Area Border 

'''^^ [.cological Reporting 
U;i/( Border* 



'Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 









behind dams. Smolt-to-adult return rates 
declined from approximately 4 percent in 1968 
to less than 1.5 percent from 1970 to 1974. In 
1973 and 1977, low flows resulted in 95 
percent mortality of migrating smolts. 

Non-native ilsh and hatchery operations have 
also affected wild steelhead populations. 
Hatcheries have been widely used in attempts to 
mitigate losses of steelhead caused by 
construction and operation of dams. Hatchery 
operations affect wild steelhead populations 
through genetic hybridization and loss of fitness, 
creation of mixed- stock fisheries, competition for 
food and space, and increased diseases. 
Introduced rainbow trout also have the potential 
to mature and hybridize with steelhead, and this 
species has been introduced throughout the 
current steelhead range. Supplementation of 
native stocks with hatchery fish have typically 
resulted in replacement, not enhancement, of 
native steelhead. 

Biotic factors including predation and 
competition also may influence the abundance 
of steelhead. More than 55 exotic fish species 
have been introduced within the current range 
of steelhead. Because exotic fish species did 
not co-evolve with steelhead, there has been no 
opportunity for natural selection to lessen 
competition or predation. Dams have created 
habitat that is suitable for a variety of native 
(northern squawfish) and non-native predators 
and potential competitors. The abundance and 
distribution of native predators may also be 
influenced by human habitat alterations. 

More than 95 percent of the healthy native 
stocks of anadromous fish are believed to be 
threatened by some degree of habitat 
degradation. Fish habitat quality in most 
watersheds has declined. As described in 
previous sections, pool frequency has 
decreased and fine sediment has increased in 
many project-area watersheds. In addition to 
hydroelectric development, most alterations 
of steelhead habitat can be attributed to 
human land-disturbing activities as a result 
of mining, timber harvest, agriculture, 
industrial development, and urbanization. 

Summary by Ecological Reporting Unit. 

Steelhead are still relatively widely distributed 
in the project area, but they are extinct in 
nearly 60 percent of the historical range. 
Although steelhead are widespread throughout 
the remaining accessible range, most 



populations are severely depressed and heavily 
influenced by hatchery supplementation. Wild 
stocks are rare; core areas for remaining wild 
populations include the Salmon and John Day 
river basins. The only remaining strong 
populations are found among wild stocks, 
primarily in the Columbia Plateau and Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6). Within the Central Idaho 
Mountains (ERU 13), recent steelhead runs 
have been critically low. 

Chinook Salmon 

Chinook salmon in the project area are 
traditionally described as spring, summer, 
and fall runs, distinguished primarily by their 
time of passage over Bonneville Dam. These 
names have led to some confusion because 
stocks of similar run timing may differ 
considerably between the Snake and 
Columbia rivers in their spawning areas, life 
histories, behavior, and genetic 
characteristics. For the purposes of the 
Integrated Scientific Assessment (1996), 
Chinook salmon that migrate seaward as 
yearlings are called "stream-type" and those 
that migrate as subyearlings are called 
"ocean-type." Snake River chinook salmon 
(stream- and ocean-types) were listed as 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act 
in 1992. Current and historical distributions 
of stream-type and ocean-type chinook 
salmon are illustrated on Maps 2-32 and 2-33. 

The historical range of chinook salmon in North 
America includes the eastern Pacific and Arctic 
oceans and accessible fresh water. Like 
steelhead, chinook salmon were found in all 
accessible areas of the Snake River 
downstream from Shoshone Falls, and they 
formerly ascended and spawned in reaches of 
Salmon Falls Creek, Nevada, more than 900 
miles from the ocean. An estimated 10,523 
miles of stream were accessible to chinook 
salmon in the Columbia River Basin in the 
United States and Canada. 

Stream-type chinook salmon were widely 
distributed, occupying about 45 percent of the 
watersheds in the project area, and occurring 
in all ecological reporting units except the 
Northern Great Basin (ERU 4), Upper Clark 
Fork (ERU 8), Snake Headwaters (ERU 12), and 
Upper Snake (ERU 1 1) above Shoshone Falls. 
Ocean-type chinook salmon were much less 
widely distributed, occupying approximately 7 
percent of the available watersheds and 



^J ^^^ "^ 






\^-^- ^ 



) 



'\ ^-^'^ 



C^A N A ip A 



WASHlNGTpN/ IDAHO ', MONT/^JA 








. WASlrffNGTON 
foREGON" 




CALIFORNIA 



-^ 



OREGON 




IDAHO 

NEVADA 



I UTAH 



-N 



WYOMING 





Map 2-32. 

Distribution of 

Stream-Type Chinook Salmon 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



Historical Range ■''"^ Major Rivers 
Current Range <***«^ Major Roads 
Known Strong '"^ EIS Area Border 



Populations 



y^ 



Ecological Reporting 
Unit Border* 



*Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map hi. 



f^LT^r ±i/» ^ * 1 



^*^ 



CALIFORNIA 



cCa n a U) a 

->-^T — ^— 

\\i4SHlNGTPN/ IDAl' 





washington 
Oregon" 



OREGON 




IDAHO _ 

NEVADA 




-^ 



WYOMING 



UTAH 



--f^. 






Map 2-33. 

Distribution of 

Ocean-Type Chinook Salmon 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



50 100 150 km 



Historical Range ■''"^ Major Rivers 

Current Range <^^^' Major Roads 

Known Strong ^^^ EIS Area Border 

-""^ Ecological Reporting 
Unit Borders- 



Populations 



"Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map j-j. 






occurring in 6 of 13 ecological reporting units. 
Within accessible watersheds, chinook salmon 
distribution may have been restricted by 
unsuitable water temperatures at high 
elevations, and the need for relatively large 
areas of suitable spawning gravel. Chinook 
salmon juveniles also prefer low gradient, 
meandering stream channels, which may have 
further restricted their distribution. 

Historical runs of chinook salmon were immense; 
estimates of the size of annual runs prior to 1850 
range from 3.4 to 6.4 million fish. Most native 
peoples in the project area shared a major 
dependence on salmon as a subsistence and 
ceremonial resource. Commercial harvest of 
Chinook salmon in the mainstem Columbia River 
peaked in 1883 at 2.3 million fish, and the 
average yield was approximately 1.3 million fish 
from 1890 to 1920. 

Chinook salmon are presently the most 
endangered of the key salmonids, with 
populations lost in large portions of their 
historical range. Construction of Grand Coulee 
Dam in the early 1940s and the Hells Canyon 
dam complex in 1967 eliminated chinook 
salmon from much of their former ranges 
within the Upper Columbia and Snake River 
drainages. In total, about 75 percent of 
historically accessible streams are no longer 
accessible to chinook, primarily because of dam 
blockages. Current known and estimated 
distributions of stream-type and ocean-type 
Chinook salmon include 28 percent and 30 
percent, respectively, of their historical ranges. 
Stream-type chinook are extinct in all of the 
Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10) and Lower Clark 
Fork (ERU 9); and in large portions of other 
ecological reporting units that currently 
support populations. Ocean-type chinook are 
extinct in large portions of several ecological 
reporting units, and in all of the Owyhee 
Uplands (ERU 10). 

Most existing chinook salmon stocks in the 
remaining accessible range are severely 
depressed and at risk. For stream-type 
chinook salmon, watersheds known or 
estimated to support strong spawning and 
rearing populations represent 0.2 percent of 
the historical range and 0.8 percent of the 
current range: approximately 99 percent of the 
current stream-type chinook spawning and 
rearing populations are classified as depressed. 
The only remaining strong populations appear 



to be restricted to small areas of the John Day 
River Basin in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6). 
Note that only those watersheds in the project 
area containing spawning and rearing 
populations sustained by wild stocks are 
classified as strong. Ocean-type chinook are 
found in a more restricted range associated 
mainly with the mainstem rivers and larger 
tributaries. For ocean-type chinook salmon, 
watersheds known or predicted to support 
strong spawning and rearing populations 
represent 5 percent of the historical range and 
16 percent of the current range; approximately 
70 percent of current ocean-type chinook 
salmon spawning and rearing populations are 
classified as depressed. In the Snake River, an 
estimated 1,882 wild stream-type chinook 
salmon reached Lx)wer Granite Dam in 1994 as 
compared to an estimated production of 1.5 
million fish in the late 1880s. From 1985 to 
1993, an average of 387 naturally produced 
ocean-type chinook salmon reached Lower 
Granite Dam. 

Construction and operation of mainstem 
dams on the Columbia, Snake, and Klamath 
rivers is considered the major cause of 
decline of chinook salmon (see Map 2-25). 
Besides reducing accessible habitat, 
hydroelectric development changed Columbia 
and Snake River migration routes from 
mostly free-flowing in 1938 to a series of 
impoundments by 1975, and reservoir storage 
activities have reduced flows in most years 
during smolt migration. Like steelhead, 
chinook adults are delayed during upstream 
migrations, and smolts may be killed by 
turbines; become disoriented or injured, 
making them more susceptible to predation; 
or become delayed in the large impoundments 
behind dams. Development and operation of 
hydropower facilities in the Columbia Basin 
has reduced salmon and steelhead production 
by about eight million fish: four million from 
blocked access to habitat above Chief Joseph 
and Hells Canyon dams, and four million 
from ongoing passage losses at other 
facilities. Passage losses are cumulative 
depending on the number of dams; chinook 
salmon in the project area must pass between 
one and nine damis. Losses of mid- and 
upper-Columbia ocean-type chinook salmon 
were estimated to be approximately 5 percent 
per dam for adults and 18 to 23 percent per 
dam for Juveniles. 



The Effects of Hydropower, Hatcheries, Harvest and Habitat on 
Interior Columbia River Anadromous Fishes 



Introduction 

Anadromous fish are the focus of this sidebar because of their current scarcity resulting from 
influences of hydropower, hatcheries, harvest, and habitat. These four activities which impact or limit 
the survival of anadromous fishes, have been broadly grouped as the "Four H's (Idaho Department of 
Fish and Game et al. v. NMFS et al. 1994). Due to the cumulative effect of the "Four H's" on Snake 
River spring/summer chinook salmon, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed the Snake 
River stock as threatened in 1992 pursuant to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In public scoping 
for this draft EIS an important question surfaced about how hydropower, harvest, and hatcheries 
(factors outside the land management agencies' jurisdictions), would be considered in the 
development of alternative Forest Service and BLM land management strategies which affect 
anadromous fish habitat. The Executive Steering Committee for the ICBEMP directed that the EISs 
specifically address the following: 

1. What are the relative contributions of habitat, hydropower, hatcheries, and harvest on the 
current state of populations within the interior Columbia Basin? 

2. If all other factors were held constant, would a further degradation of habitat Increase the 
risks of extirpation or extinction? 

3. If all other factors were held constant, would an improvement In freshwater habitat 
conditions increase fish abundance and reduce the risks of extirpation or extinction? 

4. If nothing is done to restore habitat and mitigation of major factors such as the dams is 
successful, would there be sufficient habitat available to accommodate Increasing fish 
numbers? 

Habitat for anadromous fish is also important for numerous other aquatic and riparian resources and 
human uses. Including: native trout, amphibians, recreation, and clean water Alternative land 
management strategies will consider these Important resource values In addition to the anadromous 
fish Issues discussed below. 

This summary, based on a Science Integration Team report (Lee and Rieman In prep.) and other 
relevant sources cited In the text, responds to the above four questions. It provides an overview of the 
effects of habitat, harvest, hydropower and hatcheries on interior Columbia River anadromous fishes. 
It does not apply to resident native fish such as bull trout and cutthroat trout, which do not migrate to 
and from the sea. The Information is generally applicable to spring/summer and fall chinook, sockeye, 
and steelhead In the Interior Columbia Basin. 

Hydroelectric development is generally regarded as a major factor In the decline of anadromous 
populations, irrespective of changes in freshwater habitat (Northwest Power Planning Council 1986 in 
Lee and Rieman In prep., Raymond 1988 in Lee and Rieman In prep.). Explicit recognition of the role 
of hydroelectric development contributed to passage of the Northwest Power Planning and 
Conservation Act of 1980, and to development of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and 
Wildlife Program, a regional effort to simultaneously address the four principal factors affecting 
anadromous fish. 

Habitat is another major factor in supporting anadromous fish populations. The information provided 
by the broad-scale assessment of aquatic habitats and species within the Interior Columbia Basin and 
presented in the Aquatics chapter (Lee, D.; Sedell, J.; et al. 1996) of the Scientific Assessment lends 
support to a scientifically credible view that is emphasized repeatedly in the literature: habitat change 






is pervasive and at times dramatic, but impacts are not evenly distributed across tfie landscape. For 
instance, high-quality areas, generally associated with wilderness or other protected areas, remain 
that are capable of supporting anadromous fishes at near historical levels In these areas. In 
many other areas habitat has been degraded and survival of the freshwater life stages has been 
compromised. To support recovery of populations of anadromous fish, it will be necessary to 
expand and reconnect areas of high quality habitat. Restoration of depressed populations cannot 
rely on habitat improvement alone, but requires a concerted effort to address causes of mortality 
in all life stages. These include freshwater spawning, rearing, juvenile migration, ocean survival, 
and adult migration. 

1. What are the relative contributions of habitat, hydropower, hatcheries, and harvest on the 
current state of populations within the interior Columbia Basin? 

The question of relative contributions of the "Four H's" to anadromous fish mortality cannot 
be answered precisely Simultaneous changes in a variety of factors, combined with the 
lack of historical data, prevents estimation of the proportionate influence of each factor 
across the entire basin. It is expected that the contribution of freshwater habitat changes to 
declines in anadromous fish populations is least in the less disturbed areas of central Idaho 
(such as in wildernesses or other protected areas), where there are the most dams 
between spawning and rearing areas and the ocean, and in the northern Cascades, but 
greater in the lower Snake and mid-Columbia drainages. Similarly the contribution of 
hydropower to fish mortality declines downriver where there are fewer dams between 
freshwater spawning and rearing areas and the ocean (Lee, D.; Sedell, J.; et al. 1996). 
Hatcheries are an important element throughout the basin, but their effects on native stocks 
are quite variable. Harvest, which has been much curtailed in recent years, has less of an 
effect today than it did historically. In some sub-basins such as the Umatilla, irrigation 
withdrawals may be the major contributor to declines in naturally reproducing populations. 

2. If all other factors were held constant, would a further degradation of habitat increase the 
risks of extirpation or extinction? 

Yes, regardless of the contributions of other factors, spawning and juvenile rearing habitat 
remains an important component in the viability equation. Freshwater habitat can be most 
important in ensuring viability of stocks that are depressed through a combination of other 
factors. 

3. If all other factors were held constant, would an improvement in freshwater habitat 
conditions increase fish abundance and reduce the risks of extirpation or extinction? 

Yes, although the magnitude of the effect would vary greatly from sub-basin to sub-basin. In 
areas where present habitat is degraded and hydropower effects are smaller, such as the 
John Day and Deschutes Rivers, habitat improvements could result in immediate increases 
in numbers of fish. In areas where habitat is degraded and hydropower effects are large, 
such as in the Grand Ronde River and some tributaries of the Salmon River (for example 
Panther Creek), increases in population numbers due to habitat restoration would be more 
modest and gradual. In other areas where there is abundant high-quality habitat but few 
adult spawners, such as in the middle Fork Salmon River, immediate increases in fish 
abundance would not be expected. One aspect of habitat improvement that could have 
long-term repercussions, if not immediate benefits, is that increased availability of high- 
quality habitats reduces the chances that a random, catastrophic event such as a large fire 
followed by flooding would wipe out all of the best available habitat. A wider distribution of 
high-quality habitats also improves the likelihood of increased genetic diversity ~ an 
additional benefit over the long term. In general, while additional high quality habitat alone 
could increase the abundance of individual fish, it would not likely reverse current negative 
population trends in the short term. 



4. If nothing is done to restore habitat, and mitigation of major factors such as the 
dams is successful, would there be sufficient habitat available to accommodate 
increasing fish numbers? 

The answer varies across the basin. Population numbers in much of the interior Columbia 
Basin are far below what current habitat conditions could likely support under a scenario of 
increased downriver survival. Some remote areas (for example central Idaho and northern 
Cascades) potentially could support hundred-fold increases or better in the number of adult 
fish, but this is not the case everywhere. There are disturbed areas where increased adult 
numbers would lead to compensatory declines in freshwater survival rates, thus reducing 
the per capita productivity of the population and limiting the effectiveness of downstream 
improvement efforts. If the objective is to fully realize the benefits of downstream 
improvements, then commensurate increases over current availability and distribution of 
high-quality habitat will be necessary 



Literature Cited: 

Lee, D.C., and B. Rieman. In preparation. Federal Land Management and Anadromous Fishes. 
USDA Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Boise, ID. 

Lee, D.; Sedell, J.; Rieman, B.;[and others]. 1996. Broadscale Assessment of Aquatic Species and 
Habitats. In: Quigley T.I\/l.;Arbelbide, S.J., tech eds. An assessment of ecosystem components in the 
interior Columbia Basin and portions of the Klamath and Great Basins. Gen. Tech. Rpt. Portland, OR: 
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station; 2. 

National Marine Fisheries Service. 1992. Endangered and threatened species; threatened status for 
Snake River spring/summer chinook salmon, threatened status for Snake River fall chinook salmon. 
FR Vol. 57, No. 78/Wed., Apr 22, 1992, 14653-14663. 

Northwest Power Planning Council (NPPC). 1986. Compilation of information on salmon and 
steelhead losses in the Columbia River basin. Portland, OR: Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife 
Program. 



Raymond, H.L. 1988. Effects of hydroelectric development and fisheries enhancement on spring and 
summer chinook salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. North American Journal of 
Fisheries Management 8:1-24. 



Like steelhead, many remaining chinook 
salmon populations have been influenced by 
hatchery- reared fish. Production of wild 
anadromous fish in the Columbia River Basin 
has declined by approximately 95 percent from 
historical levels. As a result, wild populations 
unaltered by hatchery stocks are rare; they are 
present in 4 percent of the historical range and 
15 percent of the current range of stream-type 
chinook salmon, and 5 percent of the historical 
range and 17 percent of the current range of 
ocean-type chinook salmon. 

The overall pattern of decline of chinook salmon 
suggests the species is very sensitive to habitat 
degradation throughout its entire range. 
Improper livestock grazing, timber harvest, and 



irrigation diversions have been important factors. 
Forest management practices, including timber 
harvest activities, have reduced salmon habitat 
quantity and complexity, increased 
sedimentation, and eliminated sources of woody 
debris needed for healthy salmon habitat. 
Improving the quality of remaining refugia is less 
important than restoring connectivity in reaches 
of lower sub-basins. 

Predation is one of the major causes of 
mortality to juvenile chinook salmon. Exotic 
species may prey upon and compete with native 
fishes. Many of the middle and lower reaches 
of the Columbia River are dominated by exotic 
fish species. Northern squawfish, a native 
predator, has become well adapted to the 



i^%ii»( , 1 



^S^t<,.^SS:^^X»^$^ VV»'»4"««^*¥*^¥«:'*«¥'« 



habitat created by dams. It has been estimated 
that 15 to 20 million juvenile salmonids in the 
Snake and lower Columbia rivers are lost to 
northern squawfish predation annually. 
Additional information will be provided that 
answers the question regarding the 
relationship of chinook salmon habitat to other 
limiting factors; for example, if all the habitat is 
fixed, will there be more fish, and vice versa, if 
all other limiting factors (harvest, hatcheries, 
and hydropower) were removed will there be 
more fish and enough habitat. 

Summary by Ecological Reporting Unit. 

Chinook salmon are the most imperiled of the 
key salmonids. Both forms of chinook salmon 
are extinct in more than 70 percent of the 
historical range. The distribution of stream- 
type chinook appears to be widespread 
throughout the remaining accessible range, but 
most populations are depressed and influenced 
by hatchery supplementation. The only 
remaining strong populations are within the 
Blue Mountains (ERU 6) and are restricted to 
relatively small areas of the John Day River 
Basin. Within the Central Idaho Mountains 
(ERU 13), recent runs of stream-type chinook 
salmon have been critically low, and most 
populations are believed to be on the brink of 
extinction. Ocean-type chinook salmon are 
found in a more restricted range tied 
principally to mainstem rivers and larger 
tributary systems. Populations associated with 
the Snake River Basin in Idaho are also 
considered on the verge of extinction. The 
remaining distribution of spawning and rearing 
habitat includes very few watersheds in each 
occupied ecological reporting unit and the 
blocks of contiguous occupied habitat are small 
and disjunct. 

Sockeye Salmon 

Sockeye salmon were not considered a "key 
salmonid" as part of the Assessment ( 1 996) 
because of their extremely limited present 
distribution. Nevertheless, they ai^e an important 
species because of high associated social, 
economic, and ecologic values. 

Sockeye salmon exhibit two dominant life history 
forms, an anadromous form and a resident form 
called kokanee. The distribution of kokanee 
coincides with that of the anadromous form, 
probably indicating that kokanee populations 
have developed from anadromous populations. 



The historical range of sockeye extended across 
the northern rim of the Pacific Ocean, down the 
west coast of North America as far south as the 
Sacramento River in California (see Map 2-34). 
The historical range included large segments of 
the interior Columbia Basin where natural lakes 
and surrounding watersheds are connected by 
river systems to the Pacific Ocean. It is believed 
that 1 1 major watersheds and at least 24 lakes 
supported sockeye salmon within the project 
area. Currently only Lakes Wenatchee and 
Osoyoos in the upper Columbia River produce 
large numbers of wild anadromous sockeye. A 
single remnant population of anadromous 
sockeye remains in Redfish Lake in the upper 
Snake River Basin. The number of adults 
returning to Redfish Lake has numbered from 
to 8 adults since 1990. This remnant population 
is federally listed as endangered under the 
Endangered Species Act. 

Similar to steelhead and chinook, much of the 
decline in anadromous sockeye is attributed to 
dams blocking access to spawning and rearing 
streams and increased mortality of juveniles in 
the migratory corridors of the Snake and 
Columbia rivers. Other factors influencing 
abundance include loss of lake habitat, 
historical commercial fisheries, ocean 
productivity, and forest management. 



Native Species RichnesSf and 
Biotic and Genetic Integrity 

The specific conditions regarding fish species 
and groups of fishes that are outlined in 
preceding sections can be integrated in various 
manners to provide an overall picture of 
aquatic conditions in the project area. Some 
key attributes include native species richness, 
and genetic and biologic integrity. These overall 
views of the project area can help prioritize 
management actions through watershed 
categorization or designation of key watersheds. 
Key (or priority) watersheds have been identified 
for previous salmon recovery plans. For the 
purposes of this EIS, the Science Integration 
Team developed watershed categories that 
summarize current aquatic conditions, especially 
with regard to management opportunities and 
priorities. These categories are described later in 
this section. 



T^^^iiWftMiwflV 



. r,if«i.jj;fff!VA;4,v,.fi 




Map 2-34. 

Distribution of 

Sockeye (Kokanee) Salmon 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



I "" •'• ^ Historical Range ^"^ Major Riven 

^^H Current Range ^'^ Major Roads 

^^^ EIS Area Border 

•""^ Ecological Reporting 
Unit Border* 



"Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 



species Richness 

The number of native fish species present in a 
watershed is an important element of 
biodiversity. A high degree of overlap in species 
is characteristic of strong habitat diversity. 
Even considering a fairly narrow group of 
species such as the salmonids, each species 
relies on different habitats and environments. 
The occurrence of several salmonids indicates 
suitable habitats over relatively large 
landscapes. High richness may also indicate 
critical habitats that serve as common 
corridors, wintering areas, or seasonal refuges 
for varied life histories. The largest remaining 
regions of high species overlap are associated 
with the Blue Mountains (ERU 6), Northern 
Cascades (ERU 1), Central Idaho Mountains 
(ERU 13), and their connecting river corridors. 
Overlap of strong populations for multiple 
native salmonids indicates areas of high 
species richness that have not yet experienced 
extensive declines in fish population. Presently 
within the project area, less than 0.01 percent 
of the subwatersheds concurrently support 
three strong salmonid populations, three 
percent support two populations, and 
approximately 20 percent support one. The 
largest block of contiguous or clustered 
subwatersheds supporting strong populations 
is within sub-basins in the Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6), Central Idaho Mountains (ERU 13), 
and Snake Headwaters (ERU 12). Smaller 
blocks are found in the extreme eastern fringe 
of the Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) 
and Upper Clark Fork (ERU 8). Most of the 
watersheds supporting strong populations are 
found on Forest Service- administered lands (75 
percent), and a portion (29 percent) is located 
within protected areas such as designated 
wildernesses or National Parks. Watersheds 
with multiple strong populations are more 
commonly under Forest Service management 
than other ownerships. Map 2-35 illustrates 
the current locations of salmonid strongholds 
in the project area. (See Map 1-1 for Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands.) 

Biotic Integrity 

The concept of biotic integrity has been 
proposed to evaluate the loss of natural 
diversity, and to define those remaining 
portions of the landscape that could be most 
valuable in maintaining or closely 
approximating historical levels of natural 



diversity. Biotic integrity has been generally 
defined as "the ability to support and maintain 
a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of 
organisms having a species composition, 
diversity, and functional organization 
comparable to that of the natural habitat of the 
region " (Karr and Dudley 1991). Integrity 
specifically refers to native biota that reflect 
natural evolutionary and biogeographic 
processes. Several measures of biotic integrity 
have been developed, often reflecting different 
attributes for communities of invertebrates and 
amphibians as well as fish (Fisher 1989; Lyons 
etal. 1995). 

Because project-wide aquatic species 
information was limited to fish in the 
Scientific Assessment (1996), a relatively 
simple measure of integrity reflecting the 
diversity and structure of the native fish 
community at both the life-history and 
species levels of organization was developed 
(for further information on methods refer to 
the Scientific Assessment 1996). The highest 
concentration of high integrity values were 
found in the Northern and Southern 
Cascades (ERUs 1 and 2), Blue Mountains 
(ERU 6), the southern edge of the Columbia 
Plateau (ERU 5), and Central Idaho 
Mountains (ERU 13). Smaller blocks of high 
values were also found in the Lower Clark 
Fork (ERU 8). One readily apparent trend is 
that many of the high-value integrity areas 
are found in forested areas within the range 
of anadromous fish. Rangeland and 
agricultural areas tended to have lower 
integrity values. 

Genetic Integrity 

Hatchery programs may erode genetic diversity 
and alter certain gene complexes that evolved 
together and that are characteristic of locally 
adapted stocks of salmonids. The effects may 
include a loss of fitness or performance 
(growth, survival, and reproduction), and a loss 
of genetic variability important to long-term 
stability and adaptation in varying 
environments. The analysis of genetic integrity 
is incomplete and would require a finer level of 
analysis for a consistent application to resident 
salmonids, but in general the areas important 
to the genetic integrity of the anadromous 
salmonids are found principally within the Blue 
Mountains (ERU 6) and Central Idaho 
Mountains (ERU 13). 




Map 2-35. 
Key Salmonid Strongholds 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



so so 100 150 km 



Predicted Strongholds ■''"^^ Major Rivers 

Known Strongholds -^*^ Major Roads 

^^^ his Area Border 

•'*'-' LRU Boundaries 



'Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 



-~i.'' w»"-i*^<l — ""■* ' - 



Sub-basin Categories 

To assist with an ecosystem approach to the 
management of watersheds and aquatic 
resources, the Science Integration Team 
developed a simple classification of sub-basins 
throughout the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project area (ICBEMP). 
Sub-basins were used as the primary 
classification unit because they commonly 
approximate complete aquatic ecosystems, 
supporting most of the life-history diversity 
expected over larger river basins (see the 
Introduction to this chapter for an explanation 
of sub-basins and 4th field Hydrologic Unit 
Codes). Three broad categories of sub-basin 
condition (as pertaining to aquatic ecosystems) 
have been defined, recognizing that a 
continuum of conditions exists. Sub-basins 
were categorized along a gradient of conditions 
and integrity relative to highly functional 
aquatic ecosystems. Highly functional systems 
or systems with high integrity were defined as 
sub-basins with a full complement of native 
fish and other aquatic species, well distributed 
in high-quality, well connected habitats. 



The categorization is intended to set the stage for 
a broad-scale analysis of management needs and 
opportunities that can focus the requirement for 
finer-scale analysis. It is intended to facilitate the 
discussion of management opportunity and 
conflict by providing a description of aquatic 
issues and needs that could be associated with 
similar descriptions for terrestrial ecosystems. It 
is not intended to be all-inclusive, final, or 
inflexible. The classification is based on the 
integration of current data as well as local 
knowledge of watershed connectivity and 
condition that is not expressed quantitatively. 
Map 2-36 shows the watershed categories 
(aquatic integrity) developed by the Science 
Integration Team for analysis. 

Category 1 Sub-basins 

These high integrity sub-basins most closely 
resemble natural, fully functional aquatic 
ecosystems. In general they support large, 
often continuous blocks of high-quality 
habitat and watersheds with strong 
populations of multiple species. Connectivity 
among watersheds and through the mainstem 



-^ 



^ 



Fringe Environments 

"Fringe" environments at the extreme edges of a species distribution may support a disproportionately 
large part of ttie genetic diversity within a species because of the genetic adaption needed to survive in a 
variable environment. Populations that represent native gene complexes and the widest possible diversity 
probably offer the best resources for reestablishing extinct populations in similar environments. They are 
also important for sustaining the most important components of overall genetic diversity characteristic of 
these species. 

The fringe of the range for westslope cutthroat trout is in the Blue Mountains (ERU 6). Watersheds 
within the Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) technically qualify as part of the westslope cutthroat fringe 
distribution, but those watersheds are really part of a much larger distribution of cutthroat in the upper 
portions of that basin. For that reason the Columbia Plateau (ERU 5) was not included as part of the 
fringe for westslope cutthroat trout. The fringe defined for bull trout includes the Southern Cascades 
(ERU 2), the Upper Klamath (ERU 3), the Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10), and the Walla Walla and Umatilla 
drainages within the Columbia Plateau (ERU 5). 

The Upper Klamath (ERU 3), Northern Cascades (ERU 1), and Owyhee Uplands (ERU 10) are recognized 
as fringe areas in the remaining distribution of resident-interior redband trout. No watersheds are 
considered to represent a fringe for Yellowstone cutthroat trout or resident redband trout. Any further 
loss of current distributions within the Upper Snake (ERU 11) or Upper Klamath (ERU 3) would make 
these areas of concern, however. 

The Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) was identified in the Assessment (1996) as the fringe for 
steelhead. Population declines within the Southern Cascades (ERU 2) could make that area important for 
steelhead as well. The Southern Cascades (ERU 2) and Northern Glaciated Mountains (ERU 7) are 
important for stream-type chinook salmon. The distribution of ocean-type chinook salmon within the 
project area is so restricted that all of the remaining distribution qualifies as part of the fringe. 



:HifesCAl<ii^l^^V.vX« 



■ '-y'-yi/-'<'-A:"'& 



-■*:SvW 



river corridor is unimpeded, and all life 
histories, including migratory forms, are 
present and important. Native species 
predominate, though introduced species may 
be present. These sub-basins provide a 
system of large, wrell dispersed habitats 
resilient to large-scale disturbances. They 
provide the best opportunity for long-term 
persistence of native aquatic assemblages 
and may be important sources for refounding 
other areas. 

Category 2 Sub-basin 

These moderate integrity sub-basins support 
important aquatic resources, and often have 
watersheds classified as strongholds for one or 
more species scattered throughout. The 
integrity of the fish assemblage is high or 
moderate. The most important difference 
between Category 1 and Category 2 watersheds 
is increased fragmentation in Category 2 that 
has resulted from habitat disruption or loss. 
These sub-basins have numerous watersheds 
where native species have been lost or are at 
risk. Connectivity among watersheds exists 
through the mainstem river system, or has the 
potential for restoration of life-histoiy patterns 
and dispersal among watersheds. Because 
these sub-basins commonly fall in some of the 
more intensively managed landscapes, they 
may have extensive road networks. Stronghold 
watersheds that require conservative protection 
are scattered rather than contiguous. These 
sub-basins are more likely to have the 
opportunities to explore or experiment with 
watershed restoration through active 
manipulation, or through attempts to produce 
more episodic disturbance followed by long 
periods of recovery. 

Category 3 Sub-basins 






Although important and unique aquatic 
resources exist, they are usually localized. 
Opportunities for restoring connectivity among 
watersheds, full expression of life histories, or 
other large-scale characteristics of fully 
functioning and resilient aquatic ecosystems 
are limited or nonexistent in the near future. 
Because the remaining aquatic resources are 
often strongly isolated, risks of local extinction 
may be high. Conservation of the remaining 
productive areas may require a disproportionate 
contribution from federal management 
agencies, because these sub-basins often 
include large areas of non-federal land. 



These low integrity sub-basins may support 
populations of key salmonids or have other 
important aquatic values, such as threatened 
and endangered species, narrow endemics, and 
introduced or hatchery supported sport 
fisheries. In general, however, these 
watersheds are strongly fragmented by 
extensive habitat loss or disruption throughout 
the component watersheds, and most notably 
through disruption of the mainstem corridor. 
Major portions of these sub-basins are often 
associated with private and agricultural lands 
not managed by the Forest Service or BLM. 




.^ 



-^ I 



Map 2-36. 

Sub-basin Categories 

(Aquatic Integrity) 



50 50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



i^* Category 1 (High) ^^ 4th HUC Boundaries 

^BS Category 2 (Ivloderate) ^^^ Ivlajor Roads 

I 1 Category 3 (Low) /^>^ EIS Area Border 

•''''^ Ecological Reporting 
Unit Border* 



'Ecological reporting unit names and numbers are found on Map 1-1. 



. llM<ia«~*^'H>V4- HI' 



c , <<r^'*i.v»v>— «.» * I'-i- *f«fii 



Human Uses and Values 



"% 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Allowable Sale Quantity (ASQ) ~ The quantity of timber tliat may be sold from a designated area covered by 
a Forest Service or BLM land use plan for a specified time period. 

Animal Unit Month (AUM) ~ The amount of feed or forage required by one "animal-unit" grazing on a 
pasture for one montli. An animal-unit is one mature cow plus calf, or one horse, or five domestic sheep. 

In-migration ~ The movement of new residents into an area. 

Out-migration ~ The movement of former residents away from an area. 

Resiliency (resilient) ~ (1) The ability of a system to respond to disturbances. Resiliency is one of the 
properties that enable the system to persist in many different states or successional stages. (2) In human 
communities, refers to the ability of a community to respond to externally induced changes such as larger 
economic or social forces. 



J 



Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦The planning area is sparsely populated 
and rural, especially in areas with a large 
amount of agency lands. Some rural 
areas are experiencing rapid population 
growth, especially those areas offering 
high quality recreation and scenery. 
Population growth can stimulate 
economic growth, provide new economic 
opportunities, and promote economic 
diversity in rural areas. 

♦ Development for a growing human 
population is encroaching on previously 
undeveloped areas adjacent to lands 
administered by the Forest Service and 
BLM. New development can put stress 
on the political and physical 
infrastructure of rural communities, 
diminish habitat for some wildlife, and 
increase agency costs to manage fire to 
protect people and structures. 

♦ Recreation is an important use of agency 
lands in the planning area in terms of 
economic value and amount of use. Most 
recreation use is tied to roads and 
accessible water bodies, though primitive 
and semi-primitive recreation is also 
important and becoming scarce relative to 
growing demand. 



♦ Industries customarily served by agency 
land uses, such as logging, wood products 
manufacturing and livestock grazing, no 
longer dictate the economic prosperity of 
the region, but remain economically and 
culturally Important in rural areas. The 
economic dependence of communities on 
these industries is highest in areas that 
are geographically isolated and offer few 
alternative employment opportunities. 

♦The public has invested substantial land 
and capital to develop road systems on 
agency lands, primarily to serve 
commodity uses. On forest lands, 
commercial timber harvest has financed 
90 percent of the construction cost and 
70 percent of maintenance cost. 
Recreation now accounts for 60 percent of 
the use. Trends in timber harvesting and 
new road management objectives make 
the cost of managing these road systems 
an issue of concern. 

♦ For those counties that have benefited 
from federal sharing of gross receipts from 
commodity sales on agency lands, 
changing levels commodity outputs can 
affect county budgets. 

♦Agency social and economic policy has 
emphasized the goal of supporting rural 
communities, specifically promoting 
stability in those communities deemed 
dependent on agency timber harvest and 






processing. Even-flowof timber sales, 
timber sale bidding methods, timber export 
restrictions, and small business set-asides 
of timber sales have been the major policy 
tools on Forest Service-administered 
commercial forestlands. Regulation of 
grazing practices has been important on 
BLM-administered rangelands. 

♦The factors that appear to help make 
communities resilient to economic and 
social change include population size and 
growth rate, economic diversity, social 
and cultural attributes, amenity setting, 
and quality of life. The ability of agencies 
to improve community resiliency depends 
on the effectiveness of agency land uses 
and management strategies to positively 
influence these factors. 

♦ Predictability in timber sale volume from 
agency lands has been increasingly 
difficult to achieve. Advancing knowledge 
of ecosystem processes, changing societal 
goals, and changing forest conditions has 
undermined conventional assumptions 
underlying the quantity and regularity of 
timber supply from agency lands. 



Introduction 

This section describes the social and economic 
components of ecosystems in eastern Oregon 
and Washington. Emphasis is on the 
relationship of social and economic systems to 
Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in 
the planning area. The economic and social 
setting described here establishes the context 
for making land use choices compatible with 
human needs and expectations for these lands. 

The discussion begins with a description of 
population characteristics and trends for both 
the Eastside planning area and for the project 
area as a whole. The population discussion is 
followed by an overview of how Forest Service- 
or BLM-administered (agency] lands in the 
planning area have been used to meet the social 
and economic needs of people. Employment 
generated by agency land uses is then described 
at both regional and county levels. The 
discussion then turns to communities, with 
special attention given to community stability, 
resiliency, and quality of life. The federal laws 
and policies aimed at supporting rural 
communities are part of this discussion. 



Public attitudes, beliefs, and values regarding 
the use of agency lands are then examined, 
including the attachment that people feel for 
special places. The Human Uses and Values 
section concludes with a discussion of the role 
the public plays in Forest Service and BLM 
planning and management. 

Material in this section was derived from the 
Economics (Haynes and Home 1996) and Social 
(McCool et al. 1996) chapters of the 
Assessment of Ecosystem Components in the 
Interior Columbia Basin and Portions of the 
Klamath and Great Basins (Quigley and 
Arbelbide et al. 1996b; AEC); other sources are 
referenced as needed. In this section, 
"agencies" refers to the Forest Service and 
BLM, and "agency lands" refers to lands 
administered by the Forest Service or BLM, 
unless otherwise specified. 

The Analytical Context for 
Human Uses and Values 

A comparison of economic, social, and political 
systems is necessary to provide the proper 
context for agency decisions regarding 
economic and social objectives. People-oriented 
policies of the Forest Service and BLM have 
historically had a local focus, emphasizing the 
well-being of individuals, user groups, and 
communities that are economically or socially 
connected to agency lands. The local emphasis 
of Forest Service and BLM policy suggests that 
social rather than economic policy is the 
appropriate context for decisions affecting 
human uses of agency lands. 

Economic and Social Systems 

Social, political, and economic systems are 
described and analyzed differently one from the 
other. Social and political systems are made 
up of individual units that together form at 
least a rough hierarchal structure. Social units 
include individuals, families, small groups, 
societies, and cultures. Political units include 
communities, cities, counties, states, and the 
nation. The administrative units of the Forest 
Service and BLM are also political entities that 
exhibit a hierarchal structure. While political 
leaders and agency managers seek to influence 
economic events in pursuit of their respective 
objectives, the nature of economic systems 
limits this influence. Economies change; 
resources constantly shift to more efficient uses 



,>(„Stttiii»&(t(^^Stt£^ii**,^iS'XA 



.Ai£X.^M.1h:.uMi.-:,£^:;iL^ 






"" "'^^(;':;?:s«i!;s^^';;?.]5s^iJ?^'?^s 






according to market forces, changing 
technologies, and public tastes. Rather than a 
hierarchal structure of separate "units," 
economies are a complex web of interdependent 
economic relationships operating across many 
jurisdictions, both public and private, over a 
large area. The ability of political leaders and 
agency managers to achieve their economic 
objectives is limited by their ability to 
anticipate, account for, and influence larger 
economic forces. 

Another factor relevant to economic and social 
objectives is the geographic scale at which 
planned land management activities and 
outputs are specified. Effects of land use 
activities cannot reasonably be predicted with 
more detail than used in assigning those 
activities. For example, if the location of 
planned timber harvest is a broad scale multi- 
county area, such as the ecological reporting 
units (ERU) used for this Draft EIS, the effects 
on timber-related employment cannot be 
reliably predicted at a finer scale, such as a 
single county, city, or community (Map 1-1 
shows the ERU names, numbers, and 
boundaries). Thus, fine-scale economic impact 
analysis is incompatible with the broad-scale 
approach of this Draft EIS. The methodology 
for fine- scale analysis exists and can be used 
for local planning problems. For example, a 
recent study by Robison and McKetta estimated 
community-level job impacts for a portion of 
northern Idaho using a set of timber supply 
scenarios for federal lands (Robsion and McKetta 
1996). While these supply scenarios do not 
correspond to activity levels for timber harvest 
presented in this document nor what might 
result from future federal land management 
plans, they provide examples of how local 
economic impact analysis might be approached. 

Economists on the Interior Columbia Basin 
Ecosystem Management Project (ICBEMP) 
concluded that multi-county trade regions 
developed by the Bureau of Economic Analysis 
(BEA) were the smallest geographic areas that 
could be used as a reasonably "closed" 
economic system. Bureau of Economic 
Analysis regions are based on commuting 
distances and newspaper circulation (see 
Map 2-37). Since this Draft EIS uses ERUs for 
displaying outputs. BEA-type data were 
adjusted to these units. This section provides 
more detailed county-level economic data for its 
historic value in describing the affected 
environment, but similar detail was not used to 



project future economic effects of management 
alternatives (in Chapter 4). The discussion that 
follows addresses either planning area (eastern 
Oregon and Washington) or project area (both 
EIS planning areas) conditions, whichever is 
appropriate to the context of the discussion 
and the available data. 



Population 



Population density, distribution, and change, 
along with the demographies of the project area 
population, are useful factors for describing 
past and potential economic growth and 
community resiliency. These factors are also 
useful for understanding how changing agency 
land uses could affect cultural and social 
values of people living in the project area. 

Characterization 

The project area is sparsely populated, with a 
density of approximately 1 1 people per square 
mile compared to the national average of 70. 
Population density in eastern Washington is 27 
people per square mile, compared to just 6 
people per square mile in eastern Oregon. 
Population density also differs greatly by 
county. Nearly half of the population of the 
project area is located in 12 of the 102 
counties, showing a very uneven distribution of 
population. Only six counties have sufficient 
population to be classified as metropolitan 
counties. Only one of these, Spokane County, 
is in the Eastside planning area. The total 
1990 population in the project area was Just 
under three million people (USDC 1991a,b). 
Washington residents comprise 38 percent of 
the project area population, compared to 27 
percent in southern Idaho, 12 percent in 
Oregon, 1 1 percent in Montana, 7 percent in 
northern Idaho, and 5 percent in Wyoming, 
Utah, and Nevada. The most populated county 
is Spokane, Washington (361,400). High 
population density can be an important 
indicator of the resiliency of economic systems 
because it generally corresponds to areas with 
high economic diversity. A more detailed 
discussion of the relationship between 
population and economic conditions is 
addressed later in this section under the 
Communities heading. 

The age distribution of project area residents is 
very similar to that of the nation, but contains 




Map 2-37. 

Bureau of Economic Analysis 

Economic Subregions 



50 100 150 I 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Ai-ea 
1996 



"A' Irade Centers ^^ Mijor Rivers 

^^^ Economic Subregion Boundaries ^'^ Major Roads 

^^^ EIS Area Border 



a larger proportion of people under 1 8 and a 
smaller proportion of people who are in prime 
wage-earning years of 25 to 49 (McGinnis and 
Christensen 1996). Between 1980 and 1990, 
the age structure of project area residents 
changed significantly. The 65-and-over age 
group Increased by a greater proportion 
(28 percent) than other age groups, while the 
18 to 24 group declined by 20 percent. This 
reflects both the aging of baby boomers and the 
higher age of people migrating into the area. 

The project area contains a larger proportion of 
Caucasians (92 percent) and American Indians 
(2.4 percent) than the United States (80 percent 
and 0.8 percent respectively), and a smaller 
proportion of African Americans (0.6 percent, 
compared to 12 percent nationally), and 
Hispanics (6.7 percent, compared to 9 percent 
nationally). Hispanics are the largest non-Anglo 
group in the project area; from 1980 to 1990 
the Hispanic population increased by 69 percent. 

The project area contains or overlaps with 19 
American Indian Reservations and one Colony, 
some with and some without trust lands - a 
total of approximately 89,600,000 acres, or five 
percent of the project area. In six counties, 
reservation and trust lands account for more 
than 40 percent of the land base. In 1990, 
approximately 1 15,000 people (four percent of 
the project area population) lived within the 
borders of these lands. Appendix 1-2 and 
Hanes (1995) contain a list of Indian tribal 
governments with interests in the region. 

Trends 

Population growth in the project area over the 
last 45 years has reflected national trends. 
Between 1950 and 1970 there was a significant 
out-migration from rural to urban settings; 
over one-third of the counties showed 
population losses. During the 1970s, however, 
most counties reported population increases, 
reflecting the "rural renaissance" occurring for 
the nation as a whole. The 1980s 
demonstrated a return to traditional urban 
migration and population patterns (Johnson 
1993) also evident in the project area, where 41 
percent of the counties decreased in population. 

In the early 1990s, another urban-to-rural 
migration began. Between 1990 and 1994, both 
eastern Oregon and eastern Washington grew at 
well above the national rate of 2.6 percent. 



Population growth occurred throughout the 
project area, with 96 percent of counties 
increasing in population between 1990 and 1994; 
small metropolitan counties grew the fastest at 
6.3 percent, followed by nonmetropolitan counties 
adjacent to metropolitan ones at 5.8 percent. 
Metropolitan counties in eastern Washington are 
Benton, Franklin, Spokane, and Yakima; none of 
the eastern Oregon counties are considered to be 
metropolitan. Counties in which recreation and 
tourism play a large role in the economy (Johnson 
and Beales 1994) accounted for 24 percent of the 
population increase in the project area. 
Recreation counties in eastern Oregon are 
Deschutes, Hood River, and Wasco; and in 
eastern Washington are Chelan and Okanagon. 
The vast majority of all towns (86 percent) in the 
project area also have increased in population 
since 1990 (Harris 1995). 

This high population growth resulted from both 
higher than average natural rates of increase and 
in-migration. Johnson and Beales (1994) 
reported that nationally approximately 43 percent 
of the population growth in nonmetropolitan 
counties between 1990 and 1992 was due to 
migration, as opposed to natural increase 
(number of deaths subtracted from number of 
births). Between 1990 and 1994, this percentage 
was closer to 64 percent for the project area, 
showing an even greater rate of in-migration. 

While many eastern Oregon and Washington 
communities and counties are growing, some 
traditionally agricultural counties (such as 
Gilliam and Sherman in Oregon) have been 
experiencing population declines, and counties 
far from metropolitan areas have generally 
experienced slower growth. Eastern Oregon 
counties are showing much lower growth rates 
than eastern Washington counties. 

McCool and Haynes (1995) described two 
projections of future population growth, one 
based on conservative projections done by the 
Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and one 
done by ICBEMP scientists that reflects the 
more rapid growth actually occurring in the 
project area (see Figure 2-18). Project area 
population in many areas already exceeds the 
BEA projection for 5 to 15 years from now, 
suggesting that the BEA projections may be too 
conservative. Under the high estimate, the 
project area's population would double by the 
year 2040, although the overall population 
density would still remain well below the 
national average. 



,\K',«H'S-(«w.'i.>^iiJ!Siv ' ! ■ 



Mmmt«&.Mm^SUSiU§UMi 




1990 



2000 



2010 



2020 



2040 



I High Growth B Low Growth 



Figure 2-1 8. Future Population Growth in 
Project Area - Population of the project area 
by decade using two different projection 
assumptions. 



Wildland/Urban Interface 

Rapid growth in numbers of residential dwellings 
near forested landscapes has presented new 
challenges in fire prevention and suppression for 
federal and local agencies. Recent and projected 
population growth is highest in locations where 
developed private land meets undeveloped agency 
lands known as the wildland/urban interface. As 
the population of the United States grows older, 
and more individuals and businesses access 
markets electronically or through airline and 
other shipping/ delivery services, this trend of 
increasing migration to high quality of life rural 
areas is expected to continue. The resulting 
growth in numbers of residential dwellings near 
forested landscapes has the potential to fragment 
habitat, and increase conflicts with wildlife. Fire 
protection in the wildland/urban interface is a 
significant enough issue that the Western 
Governors' Association recently initiated an efToil 
with diverse interests to develop a "Wildland/ 
Urban Interface Fire Policy Action Report." 
Federal land managers are called upon in the 
report to manage fuels in the interface areas 
(Western Governors' Association 1995). For 
example, in 1995, the BLM Prineville District 
began a plan amendment to address such issues 
in rapidly-growing central Oregon. 



Land Ownership and 
Uses 

Of the 68 million acres of land in the eastern 
Oregon and Washington planning area, 43 
percent is administered by the Forest Service or 
BLM. The ownership pattern of the remaining 
lands is 46 percent private, 6 percent state or 
other federal, and 5 percent tribal. The 



proportion of agency land varies considerably 
by county (see Tables 2-22 and 2-23 later in 
this section). In eastern Oregon, 70 percent or 
more of Deschutes, Harney, Lake, and Malheur 
counties are administered by the Forest Service 
or BLM. The proportion is 50 percent or 
greater in Baker, Crook, Grant, Hood River, 
Klamath, and Wallowa counties. In eastern 
Washington, Skamania and Chelan counties 
have greater than 70 percent of their lands 
under agency jurisdiction. Columbia, Ferry, 
Okanogan, and Pend Oreille counties have from 
30 to 60 percent under agency jurisdiction. 
Although economic contributions from agency 
lands to the regional economy is proportionally 
far less than the land ownership percentages, 
the local dominance of these lands has important 
local economic implications, and perhaps even 
greater social and cultural implications. 

Recreation and Scenery 
Supply of Recreation 

The project area provides recreational 
opportunities of local, regional, national, and 
international importance. It has, on average, 
substantially greater amounts of available 
outdoor recreation opportunities compared to 
the national average, much of it supplied by 
federal lands (Molitor and Bolon 1995). The 
BLM and Forest Service provide miore than 90 
percent of the federally managed recreation 
acres in almost every ecological reporting unit. 

Molitor and Bolon (1995) inventoried recreation 
opportunities on public lands in the project area 
using the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 
(ROS), which considers characteristics such as 
road access, amount of development, density of 
recreation users, level of facility development. 






' ¥)C ''nSf '^" "^/,% ^t^'W^-w *i 'r^, i "i^^ftn**? 






and natural resource management (Clark and 
Stankey 1979). McCool and others (1995) 
collapsed the traditional ROS classes into three 
broad categories because more detailed 
classifications have not been uniformly mapped 
across the planning area. Categories included 
Primitive/Semi-Primitive (combining primitive, 
semi-primitive non-motorized, and semi-primitive 
motorized classes), Roaded Natural (roaded 
natural and roaded modified classes), and Rural/ 
Urban (rural and urban classes). 

Federal land supplies large amounts of 
primitive and semi-primitive recreation 
opportunities (see Map 2-38), much of which 
has been given special status by the Congress. 
Of roughly 1 2 million acres that provide 
primitive-type recreation, approximately 5 
million acres are designated as Wilderness or 
Wilderness Study Areas, Wild and Scenic River 
Areas, National Scenic Areas, National 
Recreation Areas, or are administered by the 
National Park Service. The project area 
contains 70 percent of the unroaded areas 
200,000 acres or larger in the lower 48 states. 
Few regions in the lower 48 states can match 
this combination of large-scale, undeveloped 
areas and low human population density. 
Access to wildland-based recreation 
opportunities is important to the rural-oriented 
lifestyle of area residents and contributes 
importantly to the region's identity. 

The ROS is a convenient way to inventory and 
display recreation settings, but it does not ' 
include the main attractions that draw people 
to recreation settings, such as water, fish, and 
-midlife. The presence of water has been and 
will continue to be the most important draw for 
recreation visitors. The project area contains 
an abundance of wild and remote water 
environments; the average for the project area 
is nearly three times the national average. In 
the future, the project area is expected to 
continue to have proportionately greater amounts 
of available recreation resources compared to the 
nation as a whole (English et al. 1993). 

Recreation Use 

Between 1991 and 1993 an average of 200 
million recreation activity days per year 
occurred on Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands in the project area. Half of 
this use occurred in the Eastside planning 
area, where day use and motor viewing 



accounted for 45 percent of the recreation 
activity days. Camping, fishing, trail use, and 
hunting were the next most popular recreation 
activities. Approximately one third of this 
activity occurred in the east Cascade 
Mountains. Recreation activity also played a 
major role in the Northern Glaciated Mountains 
(ERU 7) and Blue Mountains (ERU 6). Roaded 
natural settings receive approximately 75 
percent of all activity days. Activities such as 
trail use occur mainly in primitive/semi- 
primitive areas, while camping is mixed, with 
about half of the visits occurring in roaded 
natui'al settings and one-quarter each in 
primitive/semi-primitive and rural/urban 
settings. Table 2-19 shows how these visits 
were distributed by activity across ecological 
reporting units in the Eastside planning area. 

Among National Forests in the planning area, 
the Wenatchee and Deschutes Forests 
dominate recreation use, experiencing 30 and 
22 percent of total visits respectively. The 
Wallowa-Whitman, Colville, Umatilla, and 
Okanogan Forests make up the second tier, 
experiencing from 13 to 6 percent of total visits. 
The Winema, Malheur, Fremont, and Ochoco 
Forests experience the least recreation visits in 
the planning area. This recreation use data was 
used in developing the "Importance Index" 
presented later. Similar figures were not available 
for BLM-administered lands, which generally 
receive much less use than National Forests. 

Project area residents participate in many 
outdoor recreation activities at rates higher 
than national averages. 

According to the National Survey of Fishing, 
Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation 
conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, just over 6 million people annually 
were estimated to have participated in wildlife- 
oriented activities within the project area. 
Approximately 20 percent of these visitors were 
not residents. A substantial amount of the 
overall non-resident visitation to the area 
originates from nearby metropolitan areas-- 
Seattle, Portland, and Salt Lake City. Because 
of its proximity to Canada, the project area 
attracts over 3 million Canadian visitors 
annually. Wildlife viewing, photographing, and 
related wildlife activities were more popular 
than hunting and fishing in Oregon, 
Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Projections 
made by all four states in their Statewide 
Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans 
showed that trail use, a majority of which takes 




Map 2-38. 
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum 



150 mil's 



50 100 150 ' 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASEN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 



Project Area 
1996 



I I Not Inventoried vyXA No Data 

I "' ' ^ Primitive/Semi-Primltive ■''^'•■^ Major Rivers 

Roaded Natural ^"^^ Major Roads 

Rural/Urban ^^ EIS Area Border 






Table 2-19. 


Recreation 


Activity Days by Ecological Reporting Unit, Averaged 


1991-1993 








Northern 


Southern 


Upper 


Northern 


Columbia 


Blue 


N. Glaciated 


Owyhee 






Cascades 


Cascades 


Klamath 


Great Basin 


Plateau 


Mountains 


Mountains 


Uplands 




Activity 


ERUl 


ERU2 


ERU3 


ERU4 


ERU5' 


ERU6 


ERU7' 


ERUIO' 


Total 


Trail use 


2,215,467 


1,052,879 


252,476 


204,648 


661,633 


1,346,378 


2,279,461 


462,287 


8,475,229 


Camping 


2,838,089 


1,628,728 


904,477 


683,951 


872,307 


2,580,500 


3,648,963 


1,010,427 


14,167,442 


Hunting 


436,590 


504,206 


120,455 


330,435 


791,075 


4,519,573 


2,347,280 


1,209,796 


10,259,410 


Fishing 


135,664 


1,368,209 


137,894 


406,263 


2,725,315 


1,531,059 


2,955,824 


1,323,905 


10,584,133 


Non-motor 


64,574 


839,377 


50,900 


100,618 


360,887 


103,829 


191,698 


26,382 


1,738,265 


Viewing wildlife 


119,154 


1,314,081 


48,313 


111,811 


934,597 


435,531 


2,498,405 


134,763 


5,596,655 


Day use 


2,234,015 


3,623,842 


1,757,594 


701,225 


3,434,809 


3,185,049 


11,818,900 


737,851 


27,493,285 


Motor boating 


95,699 


73,817 


87,884 


190,470 


55,449 


246,517 


3,037,015 


818,016 


4,604,867 


Motor viewing 


6,762,177 


3,804,620 


290,988 


838,391 


1,377,152 


1,794,295 


5,689,239 


970,497 


21,527,359 


ORV use 


446,160 


93,947 


17,464 


116,022 


79,135 


191,414 


383,089 


288,540 


1,615,771 


Winter sports 


846,252 


1,237,132 


62,672 


128,128 


137,742 


1,027.098 


391,823 


535,814 


4,366,661 


Snowmobiling 


214,450 


104,562 


36,185 


32,506 


43,272 


165,547 


263,901 


47,767 


908,190 


Total 


16,408,291 


15,645,400 


3,767.302 


3,844,468 


11,473,373 


17.126,790 


35.505,598 


7,566,045 


111,337,267 



Abbre\'iations used in this table: 
ORV = off-road vehicle 
ERU = Ecological Reporting Unit 

' Figures shown are for entire ERU, not just the portion in the Eastside planning area. 

Source: Haynes and Home (1996). 



place in less-developed settings, is expected to 
be one of the fastest growing activities. 

Scenery 

Scenery is important to both residents of and 
visitors to the project area, contributing to 
quality of life and supporting economic benefits 
through recreation and tourism. According to 
the Forest Service 1990 Resources Planning Act 
(RPA) program update, viewing sceneiy has the 
highest participation rate of any recreation 
activity in the United States, with 
approximately 2 1 percent of the population 
participating. The demand for natural- 
appearing landscapes is expected to outpace 
the demand for modified landscapes. 
Washington and Oregon State Comprehensive 
Outdoor Recreation Plans identified a need for 
nearly 19 million acres of natural-appearing 
landscapes to meet projected recreational 
demands by the year 2000. This compares to a 
need for approximately 5 million acres of more 
developed landscapes (FEMAT 1993). Of the 
144 million acres within the project area, more 
than 37 million have been altered by 
agricultural and industrial development. Most 
of these changes are found on private land. 

The supply of scenery in the project area was 
measured in terms of landscape themes and 
degree of scenic integrity. Landscape themes 



were identified for each of the 394 ecological 
subsections within the project area. An 
ecological subsection is a geographic 
subdivision that has similar climate, 
topography, vegetation, and other physical 
features. Map 2-39 shows the primary 
landscape themes for each ecological 
subsection in the project area. Table 2-20 
shows the acres in each scenic integrity class, 
and Map 2-40 shows their location. 

Issues in Recreation Supply 
and Management 

The most recent Statewide Comprehensive 
Outdoor Recreation Plans (SCOF^) for Oregon, 
Washington, Idaho and Montana were surveyed 
to help define other current recreation issues 
for BLM and Forest Service, such as the need 
for cooperation and coordination among land 
management agencies, funding problems, and 
maintenance and development of facilities. 
Several other common issues, though not 
among all state SCORPs, include access, 
education and information, and liability. 

Perhaps the issue of biggest concern is 
financial. The supply and quality of 
recreation opportunities will decline relative 
to increases in population and use without 
continued investment and maintenance of 
recreational resources and facilities. Forest 



Table 2-20. Scenic Integrity in the Project Area. 



Scenic Integrity 


Present Situation^ 


%A11 


Level 


(X 


1,000 acres) 


Ownerships 


Very High 




30,727 


21 


High 




30,631 


21 


Moderately High 




44,634 


31 


Moderately Low 




13,254 


9 


Low 




1,788 


1 


Not Classified^ 




23,437 


16 



% Forest Service- or 
BLM-administered Land 



31 
27 
32 

8 

1 
<1 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 

' Existing scenic integrity. 

^ Data is not currently available for determining scenic integrity levels for lands within Agricul- 
tural or developed themes; therefore, they were not classified in McCool et al. (1996). 

Source: ICBEMP GIS data (calculated from predicted road density and coarse scale vegetation, 
1 km^ raster data). 



ViSi.«.«'E»^«« 4 ^SJft!** 






Service and BLM budgets for recreation are 
declining, making it difficult to adequately 
staff and maintain existing facilities and 
settings (Lundgren 1995). In response, 
federal land managers are contracting out 
more and more recreation operations, froin 
large-scale recreation and wilderness 
planning efforts to management of 
campgrounds and reservation systems for 
river running and other activities. 

Cultural Resources 

Cultural resources are the nonrenewable 
evidence of human occupation or activity as 
seen In any area, site, building, structure, 
artifact, ruin, object, work of art, architecture, 
or natural feature, which was important In 
human history at the national, state, or local 
level. There is, however, more than one view of 
what constitutes cultural resources. The 
academic and legal definitions tend to focus on 
tangible evidence such as sites and artifacts. 
American Indians find this definition too 
narrow. They view their entire heritage, 
Including beliefs, traditions, customs, and 
spiritual relationship to the earth and natural 
resources as sacred cultural resources 
(Columbia River System Operations Review 
FEIS 1996). 

The project area has been occupied by humans 
for more than 12,000 years, hence It has much 
evidence of human activity. By Its nature this 
evidence Is site-specific. The detail of slte- 
speclflclty Is beyond the scope of the broad-scale 
nature of this document, and therefore 
management objectives, standards, and guidelines 
were not developed for cultural resource sites. 
This in no way detracts from the significance of 
cultural resources or the need to appropriately 
protect them. The Inventory, detailed 
descriptions, and protection or mitigation of site- 



specific cultural resources are better discussed 
on a site-specific level, and will be addressed in 
BLM and Forest Service management plans, 
activity plans, and other finer-scale 
environmental and ecosystem analyses. 

Livestock Grazing 

Livestock grazing Is historically Important In 
the planning area both culturally and 
economically, although the contribution from 
agency lands is small relative to total 
production. In Oregon, 1,790 federal 
permittees use agency forage for 23 percent of 
total feed. In Washington, 450 permittees use 
agency forage for 13 percent of total feed. 
Holders of BLM or Forest Service grazing 
permits typically run larger, more profitable 
operations than non-permit holders (Frewing- 
Runyon 1995). In 1993, BLM rangelands 
produced 463,000 Animal Unit Months (AUMs; 
see Key Terms) in the planning area. National 
Forest rangelands produced 293,000 AUMs. 

Ranchers In 28 of 40 Eastside counties relied 
on Forest Service and BLM for less than 10 
percent of their total forage needs. Ranchers in 
1 1 counties relied on less than 1 percent. The 
average was 1 1.2 percent for eastern Oregon 
and 1 .4 percent for eastern Washington, 
showing that ranchers in eastern Oregon 
counties experience a greater use of agency 
forage than ranchers In eastern Washington 
counties (Frewing-Runyon 1995). Skamania 
and Chelan counties in Washington were 
significantly above the Washington average, 
using Forest Service and BLM forage for 48 and 
33 percent of total forage respectively. Reliance 
on agency forage, as a percent of total forage 
needs, was used in developing the "importance 
index" Introduced later. Sales of cattle raised 
on BLM and Forest Service forage, at least in 
part, account for an average of two percent of 



Landscape Tfietnes 

Landscape themes range from an essentially natural landscape, such as wildernesses, to one that is highly 
developed, such as an urban area. Themes indicate how people perceive environments in a very general 
sense. Themes are images formed by combining landscape character (natural attributes) and scenic condition 
(human or cultural attributes). They are not goals for future management, but show what currently exists. 
The five themes used to describe project area landscapes are Forest and Shrub/Grasslands (Naturally 
Evolving), Forest Lands (Natural Appearing), Shrub/Grasslands (Natural Appearing), Agricultural Lands, 
and Developed Areas (Galliano and Loeffler 1995a). 



J 






.^y^i 




Map 2 39. 
Landscape Themes 



150 ""'<^-' 



50 100 150 ' 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Projecl Ai'ea 
1996 



AgricuIturAl Lands -'^•^^ Major Rivers 

Forest & Shnib/Cr^sslands '-''■•■''' Major Roads 
Forest ^^ FAS Area Border 

Sbnib/Crasslands 
Urban Areas 




Map 240. 
Scenic Integrity Classes 



50 100 150 ' 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



Vfery High 
Scenic Integrity 

High 

Scenic Integrity 

Moderately High 
Scenic Integrity 

Moderately low and Low 
Scenic Integrity 



' Agricultural I 
Developed Lands 

-^^ Major Rivers 

<^V- Major Roads 

^'^ EIS Area Border 



Scenic Integrity 

Scenic integrity in tlie project area was described using five categories, ranging from very inigli, wtiere tfie 
iandscape is visuaily intact witti only minute deviations, to low, where the landscape is heavily fragmented and 
human activities and developments strongly dominate the landscape character. Scenic integrity is not 
necessarily the same as high quality scenery. For example, large expanses of open grassland that contain 
few developments may score high on integrity, but may not be the type of landscape typically associated with 
high scenic quality. Similarly, landscapes may contain roads and other types of developments, and still be 
considered highly scenic (Galliano and Loeffler 1995a). 



'^ 



total agricultural sales in the project area. 
Table 2-21 shows the relative contribution of 
livestock production in agricultural sales for 
the BEA regions dominant in the planning 
area, and the importance of agency forage to 
that production (Frewing-Runyon 1995). 

The Departments of the Interior and of 
Agriculture expect the number of cattle grazing 
on public lands to decline by approximately one 
percent per year for the next 20 years. 
Evidence indicates that, as ranchers grow 
older, more leave the field than enter it. In 
some rural areas experiencing rapid population 
growth, base properties (home ranches] where 
herds overwinter are being converted to resort 
or residential developments, or to dairy 
operations. For sheep, the elimination of the 
wool subsidy resulted in some marginally 
profitable operations selling off all of their 
lambs rather than retaining female lambs as 
replacement ewes. These, and other ongoing 
trends, are acting to reduce the size of herds 
and flocks operating on the public lands (USDl, 
USDA 1994). 

Seasonal Forage Use 

Total Forest Service and BLM forage use 
underestimates the importance of this forage to 
livestock operators. Agency forage is often 
more relied upon by ranchers than suggested 
by total supply figures because of their 
seasonal grazing patterns. It is not the total 
feed, but the number of livestock feeding part 
of the year on agency rangelands that many 
stress as an important factor. Seasonal use of 
Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands 
occurs approximately 25 to 30 percent during 
spring, 24 to 30 percent during summer, 21 to 
27 percent during fall, and 2 to 7 percent 
during winter. Later in this section. Tables 2-22 
and 2-23 display Forest Service and BLM forage 



used by livestock in each county in eastern 
Oregon and Washington. 

Grazing Fees 

Grazing fees for most western public lands 
administered by the BLM or Forest Service is 
$1.35 per AUM in 1996, down $0.26 from 
1995. The formula used for calculating the fee, 
established by the Congress in the 1978 Public 
Rangeland Reform Act, has continued under a 
presidential executive order issued in 1986, in 
which the grazing fee cannot fall below $1.35 
per AUM. The annually adjusted grazing fee, 
which takes effect every March 1 , is computed 
by using a 1966 base value of $1.23 per AUM, 
which is then adjusted according to three 
factors - current private grazing land lease 
rates, beef cattle prices, and the cost of 
livestock production. The fee decreased for 
1996 because of lower beef cattle prices and 
higher production costs. 



Commetcial Timber Harvest 
Regional Trends 

Timber supply and demand are determined by 
the simultaneous interaction of global, 
national, regional, and local consumers, 
producers, and land owners. Timber harvest 
levels in the project area have been declining 
since the early 1960s as a proportion of the 
total United States harvest, currently standing 
at ten percent of total. Combined timber 
harvests for all owners in the planning area 
declined by roughly seven percent since 1986 
and are expected to decline by another five 
percent by the end of the decade (1990 RPA). 
More timber was harvested from forest industry- 
owned land than from other private lands. 



^^'l.l^iiii ''\i]^"^/^-^" y' ' 



... :,y^7~.T, •R» .NK :.iaTOS;j™s'i - 






Table 2-21. Relative Importance of Livestock Production in Agricultural Sales for 
Dominant Eastside BEA Regions. 



Trade 
Regions 


Farm/Ranch Income 

as Percent of Total 

Labor Income 


Value of Agricultural 

Products Sold (millions 

of 1992 doUars) 


Cattle/Calf Sales 
as Percent of Total 
Agrictiltural Output 


Dependency on 
Federal AUMs^ 


Tri-Cities 


12.3 


2,196 


22.3 


1.4 


Spokane 


3 


646 


14.5 


2.5 


Pendleton 


9.5 


780 


30 


6.6 


Redmond-Bend 


5 


388 


30.1 


9.1 



Abbreviations used in this table: 
BEA = Bureau of Economic Analysis 
AUMs = animal unit months 

' Use includes that portion of total forage consumed by cattle and sheep in an area provided by permitted 
use of Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands. Use percentages understate rancher dependency on 
this forage due to seasonal grazing needs and the number of cattle in feedlots and dairies that also con- 
sume feed and contribute to total cattle/calf sales. 

Source: Frewing-Runyon (1995). 



800 




CM CVS 

LO CD 



© 






to 

CO 
C3> 






o 
o 
o 

CM 



O 
CM 



O 
CM 
O 
CM 



O 
CO 

o 



o 
** 
o 

CM 



-Total Harvest 
- Other Public 



• Industry Harvest 
■ Other Private 



■ National Forest 



Figure 2-1 9. Timber Harvest by Owner - Historic and projected timber harvest in eastern Oregon and 
Washington by owner group. 












Timber harvest from agency-administered lands 
accounted for 59 and 65 percent of the total for 
the planning area in 1991 and 1994 
respectively. The dominance of federal supply 
is expected to change in the next 50 years, as 
forest industry and other private harvest 
becomes relatively more important. The 
amount of federal timber production in the 
planning area has historically been dominated 
by harvest from National Forest System lands. 
Timber production on BLM-administered lands 
is only significant on the Klamath Falls 
Resource Area (Lakeview District) in Klamath 
County, Oregon where it has contributed from 
two to nine percent of total county harvest 
since 1978. Forest Service and BLM timber 
harvest volume relative to the total harvest in 
the planning area is shown in Figure 2-19. 

Timber Supply by County 

The proportion of National Forest timber 
harvest as a percentage of total harvest varies 
considerably by county and state as measured 
by the average of harvest between 1978 and 
1993 (see Tables 2-22 and 2-23 later in this 
section) . Eastern Oregon counties rely to a 
greater extent on Forest Service timber harvest 
than eastern Washington counties. For 
example, Forest Service harvest volume 
accounts for 74 to 95 percent in Crook, 
Deschutes, Grant, and Harney counties; 41 to 
60 percent in Umatilla, Morrow, Union, Hood 
River, Klamath, Wallowa, Wheeler, and Lake 
counties; and 27 and 36 percent in Wasco and 
Jefferson counties. In eastern Washington, 
Forest Service harvest accounts for greater 
than 40 percent in only 5 counties, including 
Asotin, Columbia, Chelan, Skamania, and 
Garfield counties. Yakima, Ferry, Kittitas, Pend 
Orielle, and Okanogan counties experience 26 to 
34 percent Forest Service harvests. The 
percentage of Forest Service timber harvest in 
each county is used in developing the 
"importance index" described later. 

Other Forest Products 

Because of the long history and economic 
significance of logging and milling, the role of 
special forest products is sometimes 
overlooked. The collection of forest plants for 
commercial processing and trade is a small but 
growing industry. It is estimated that this 
industry is already producing several hundreds 
of millions of dollars per year in product sales. 



More than three-fifths of this value came from 
floral greens and Christmas ornamentals. Other 
significant special forest products include wild 
edible mushrooms, huckleberries, and 
medicinals. In this industry, an estimated 70 
percent of Jobs involve low-paying and seasonal 
harvesting activities. The other 30 percent of 
Jobs, which are better paying, are in processing 
and marketing (Schlosser and Blatner 1994). 

The number of permits granted to collect 
special forest products is expected to increase 
substantially. This will result in the need to 
manage the resource to assure it remains 
sustainable. Adjustments to silvicultural 
practices to support the growing conditions of 
species that comprise special forest products 
may be necessary. 

Mineral and Energy Resources 

For more than a century, deposits of gold, 
silver, and base metals, including copper, lead, 
and zinc, have contributed to the regional 
economy and, by extension, to the nation's 
wealth. Most mining activity has occurred in 
the Upper Columbia River Basin portion of the 
project area; however, gold placers have been 
worked in many places within the planning 
area since the 1800s. Other metals including 
aluminum, molybdenum, tungsten, nickel, 
chromium, magnesium, and antimony have 
played substantial roles in regional and local 
economies; potential for new discoveries is 
high. Non-metallic mineral products including 
phosphate rock, gemstones, and a wide range 
of construction and industrial minerals have 
been mined in the planning area. 

Development of coal, oil, natural gas, and 
geothermal resources has been locally significant 
in the past and may be expanded in the future. 
Mining and mineral processing in the United 
States are subject to increasingly complex and 
time-consuming requirements from federal and 
state laws; as a result, the mining industry is 
shifting more and more of its exploration and 
production activities to other nations. Costs 
include lost opportunities for income and 
employment in the U.S., and possible 
environmental degradation in other countries. 

Aluminum reduction is a worldwide industry 
with a significant portion of world production 
coming from the United States, particularly the 
Pacific Northwest. Four aluminum smelters 



are located in the planning area. Smelters in 
Washington include ALCOA in Wenatchee, 
Kaiser in Mead, and Columbia Aluminum in 
Goldendale; Northwest Aluminum is in The 
Dalles, Oregon. These plants, along with one 
in Montana, have made up between 17 and 21 
percent of the United States operating capacity 
available since 1981. 

Approximately 1 1 tons of sand, gravel, and 
stone are produced annually per capita in the 
project area. Sand, gravel, and stone form the 
base for infrastructure and other construction. 
Any economic or population expansion in the 
region necessarily will be accompanied by 
expanded demand for these construction 
materials: the result will require increasing 
production at operating sites and possibly 
creating the need to develop new sites. 

Additional information on minerals and energy 
resources can be found in Appendix 2-3. 

Geothermal 

Geothermal energy is used at approximately 120 
sites in the project area. The greatest number of 
sites are at resorts and swimming pools, but 44 
sites are disWct utilities or space heating 
projects, principally in southern Oregon and 
Idaho. In addition, 25 greenhouse and 
aquaculture sites have been developed, mainly in 
Idaho, but also in Oregon and Nevada. Three 
sites in Oregon and one in Nevada have been put 
to industrial use. The first geothermal-electric 
power generating station in the project area was 
announced in 1995. The plant, in southern 
Harney County near Fields, Oregon, is planned to 
go on line in 1998. The second power generation 
project (Newberry Crater) was approved by the 
Oregon Energy and Facility Siting Council in 
1996 and is scheduled to be on line between 
1998 and 1999. 

Oil and Gas 

Exploration for oil and gas has been conducted 
in the project area since the early 1900s. 
Approximately 3,000 test wells have been 
drilled. Most activity in the last 30 years has 
been in the Upper Columbia River Basin 
portion of the project area. Geophysical 
exploration in the planning area in the 1970s 
detected potential natural gas reservoirs under 
basalt lava flows in the central Columbia 
Plateau (ERU 5). 



Coal 

Coal has been mined from 13 fields within the 
project area; none are currently in operation. 
The only three fields in the Eastside planning 
area are in eastern Washington. Little coal is 
present in eastern Oregon, with the exception 
of the Grande Ronde lignite field. 

Economic Value 

The value of recent mineral production in 
eastern Oregon for 1992, 1993, and 1994 was 
$214 million, $226 million, and $254 million 
respectively. For the same years in eastern 
Washington, the production value was $469 
million, $505 million, and $556 million. 
Mining directly contributes approximately 0.1 
percent for Oregon and 0.3 percent for 
Washington (1990). The mining contribution to 
overall output in the project area was 4.2 
percent. The majority of this was from nonfuel 
minerals, with the mineral fuels accounting for 
less than one quarter of the mining 
contribution. In Washington, the value of 
mineral production has increased steadily, 
especially in the late 1970s and 1980s. While 
part of this increase was due to expanded gold 
production, most was a result of strong 
demand for construction materials, especially 
cement, sand, gravel, and crushed stone. 
Nearly 100 percent of Oregon's modest mineral 
production value has been created from 
construction and industrial minerals. The 
mining sector's contribution to employment in 
Oregon and Washington ranged from 
approximately 0.1 to 1.5 percent of the 
individual state totals. Mining earnings ranged 
from 0.2 to 3 percent of total earnings for the 
project area. 

Project area counties produced nonfuel 
minerals valued at nearly $913 million in 1992 
(3 percent of total United States mineral 
production value). Twenty counties (including 
a few just outside the project area) accounted 
for more than 90 percent of this value in the 
last decade. The production of metals 
represented the dominant portion (75 percent) 
of nonfuel minerals, mostly from the 
production of gold. Silver, copper, 
molybdenum, magnesium, lead, zinc, 
phosphate, and sand and gravel also feature 
prominently in the project area. 






utility Corridors 

The utility industry is an integral part of the 
socio-economic structure of the Pacific 
Northwest. Economic viability of the region is 
due to the ability of the industry to provide 
adequate, efficient, economic, and reliable energy 
and communications services. Utility services 
have played a major role in bringing major 
industries to the region and to the establishment 
of fmancially viable communities which are 
essential to the region's socio-economic well- 
being. In addition to providing basic energy and 
communication services, other benefits include 
flood control, navigation for shipping Northwestern 
products nationally and internationally, 
irrigation, and recreation opportunities. 

Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands in 
the project area contain thousands of linear 
miles of land that serves as transportation and 
utility corridors, including state and federal 
highways, county roads, electric power lines, 
natural gas pipelines, and other infrastructure 
which link human communities in the region. 
Hydroelectric facilities on federal lands are 
licensed pursuant to the Federal Power Act of 
1920. Designation of Scenic Byways on BLM- 
and Forest Service-administered lands was 
recognized in the Intermodal Surface 
Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. 
Designation of utility corridors through land 
use plans was included in the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976. 

Utility corridors (electric, pipeline, and 
communications) connect generation sources 
(such as hydroelectric dams) with customers. 
Regulations require the consideration of 
designating corridors in the land use 
planning process. 

The designation of utility corridors through 
land use plans can help minimize the 
proliferation of such rights-of-way that might 
occur if there were no planning. Congress 
recognized environmental and socio-economic 
concerns in the 1970s, at a time of rapid 
growth in energy development in the western 
United States, and authorized both the Forest 
Service and the BLM to issue regulations for 
lands they administer. In the project area, 
corridors associated with the development of 
the region's hydropower system have affected a 
substantial amount of land. Maintenance of 
the existing infrastructure, including reducing 



hazards from vegetation growth, requires 
access to maintain utility services. In addition 
to the existing corridors in use, other corridors 
have been designated for possible future 
expansion when warranted. 

Road System 

A discussion of the road system currently in place 
on National Forest and BLM lands is included 
because road access is important to many users, 
supports the bulk of economic activity generated 
from agency lands, and represents a substantial 
public investment. This discussion describes the 
amount and type of roads on agency lands, 
construction and maintenance costs for the road 
system, and the human uses and values 
attributed to unroaded areas. 

Road Inventory 

The inventoried road system on Forest Service- 
and BLM-administered land in the project area 
includes approximately 91,300 miles of roads - 
90 percent of which are on National Forest 
System lands. The 62,900 mile road system in 
eastern Oregon and Washington National 
Forests is well-developed relative to National 
Forests in the project area as a whole, 
accounting for 76 percent of total road miles. 
In the planning area, 85 percent of roads serve 
high clearance vehicles (roads designed and 
maintained to a fou; standard) , leaving only 1 5 
percent of roads for passenger vehicles (roads 
designed and maintained to a high standard]. 
This ratio is fairly consistent with agency lands 
in the project area. The 85 percent of low 
standard roads in the planning area provides 
for most operational needs of land and resource 
management and protection, plus they provide 
dispersed, roaded recreation. The remaining 
1 5 percent of high standard roads serve both 
management and concentrated recreation use. 
It is estimated that 28 percent of the low 
standard roads are closed to the public by gates 
or earth barriers for all or most of the year. 

Construction and Maintenance Costs 

Roads are tangible physical and financial 
assets that represent a substantial 
commitment of land and capital as well as a 
considerable and expensive public investment 
to facilitate use of Forest Service- and BLM- 



■yi 



administered lands. This is shown by the 
following Forest Service-derived costs. Roads 
in the planning area typically cost from 
$10,000 to $150,000 per mile to construct and 
$100 to $1,600 annually per mile to maintain, 
depending on the topography and type of road 
built. Based on current construction costs, the 
road system would cost approximately $1.75 
billion to build today. Historically, commercial 
timber harvest paid for 90 percent of 
construction costs and 70 percent of 
maintenance costs. The rest was paid for by 
congressional appropriations. In the absence 
of commercial use, maintaining the existing 
road system at current standards would 
continue to cost an estimated $10 million 
annually. Maintenance costs are highest for 
high standard roads averaging $550 per mile 
(Abernathy 1996]. In addition to out-of-pocket 
costs, roads reduce or eliminate the productive 
capacity of those acres committed to the road 
prism and waste areas. 

Currently in the Pacific Northwest, National 
Forests are approximately 30 to 50 percent 
short of funds to maintain the current road 
system to existing standards. Construction 
and deconstruction funds have decreased from 
approximately $200 million in 1980 to $25 
million in 1995. This reflects both lower 
appropriated funding as well as declines 
associated with purchaser credits from timber 
sales (which declined from 5.2 billion board feet 
in 1980 to less than 1 billion in 1995). The use 
of the transportation system in Pacific 
Northwest National Forests has changed over 
the last decade. In the 1980s, system usage 
was approximately 70 percent timber harvest, 
20 percent recreation, and 10 percent 
administrative traffic. Since the reduction in 
timber sale programs, this has shifted to 
35 percent timber, 60 percent recreation, and 5 
percent administrative traffic (Kozlow 1995). 

Roads in the planning area have enabled 
almost all of the economic activity generated by 
federal lands to take place, and will continue to 
be critical in this respect. Roads also supply or 
enable the majority of recreation use, including 
winter recreation. However, the increasing 
scarcity of unroaded areas and appreciation for 
unroaded benefits puts substantial, if 
intangible, value on unroaded lands. The 
benefits of unroaded areas can include high 
quality water, habitat for wildlife and fish, 
ecosystems with limited human disturbance, 
scenery, and primitive recreation. The extent 



to which road systems are developed is critical 
when determining whether cin area is to be 
considered for wilderness or similar 
designation. Building roads in areas previously 
valued for their unroaded condition generates a 
cost for lost opportunity, in addition to added 
benefits associated with automobile access. 
Looking to restore or protect certain 
environmental conditions, road management 
options now include various degrees of road 
closures, lower maintenance levels, and full 
road obliteration. This "disinvestment" 
approach is also a logical response to reduced 
funding for road maintenance that can be 
expected if commercial use decreases. Costs of 
this strategy include the cost of closing and 
obliterating roads, costs of short-term 
environmental considerations, and lost access 
for managers and the public. The total cost of 
lost access depends on miles of roads lost, road 
maintenance class, and location. 

Local, Regional, caid National Use 

A discussion of the different kinds of economic 
contributions that National Forest and BLM- 
administered lands provide society is necessary 
because land use choices will benefit people 
differently. Recognizing these differences is 
essential for achieving economic and social goals. 

Generating Wealth versus 
Generating Value 

There is a difference between valuing Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands based on 
how they serve national demands versus 
economic contributions they make locally. The 
economic value and societal importance of 
these lands continues to increase as use 
increases and as the unique attributes they 
provide become scarcer. However, this 
increased value does not necessarily generate 
local income or funds to support local 
government investments in infrastructure or 
social services. Much of the value is enjoyed by 
those living elsewhere, who either travel to 
federal lands to recreate, use water 
downstream from federal lands, catch fish 
spawned in federally managed streams, or 
benefit from the protection of important 
federally managed ecosystems. A complete 
accounting of economic benefits would include 
value obtained by people who may not ever visit 
the project area, but who benefit from knowing 






it exists now and in the future. Often referred 
to as existence or preservation values (Duffield 
1994), these indirect benefits can range from 3 
to 20 times greater than benefits flowing from 
direct use of a resource. The magnitude of the 
numbers are subject to dispute, but there is no 
question that project area resources have value 
aside from their role in the marketplace. 

Traditional commodity uses of Forest Service- 
and BLM-administered lands have favored local 
use and generated local income. Uses that are 
growing in importance favor regional and 
national users and generate benefits 
accordingly. This can be interpreted as a shift 
of Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands 
from being primarily local and regional assets 
to being national assets. While these lands 
have always been national assets by definition, 
the actual use and the way the lands are 
valued increasingly reflect this. 

Payments to Local Government 

The Forest Service and BLM make payments to 
local governments to compensate them for the 
non-taxable status of the federal lands in their 
Jurisdiction. These are known as PILT, or 
Payments in Lieu of Taxes. The formulas used to 
calculate the amount of money received varies by 
agency and product. Generally there is a "per 
acre" payment associated with county population 
plus an additional "revenue-sharing" amount 
available if revenues exceed a certain threshold. 
While the PILT payment is fixed, the extra money 
from revenue sharing is important to some 
counties. Schmit (1995) has recently shown that 
15 counties in eastern Oregon and 9 counties in 
eastern Washington received money in excess of 
per acre PILT payments from the sale of products 
from Forest Service- and BLM-administered 
lands. The percentage of total county budget 
derived from these federal payments was used in 
the development of the "Importance index" 
presented next. Potential reductions in these 
payments resulting from changes in agency land 
uses are a concern to county governments 
accustomed to this revenue. For counties within 
the jurisdiction of the Northwest Forest Plan, the 
Congress has legislated special appropriations to 
partially offset revenue losses stemming from 
reductions in agency timber sale receipts. Only a 
few counties in the planning area qualiiy for 
these off-setting payments. 



Kconomic Importcifice of 
Agency Timber and Forage to 
Counties 

Relating the use of agency lands to economic 
conditions locally (the county or community level) 
is of vital concern to the public and to local 
governments. While economies opei'ate over 
much larger areas, agency economic and social 
policy generally focuses on communities. The 
"timber and forage importance index" presented 
here provides a partial but useful picture of the 
historical relationships between agency land 
uses and local economic activity. 

Reyna (1995) developed the "importance index" 
to compare the relative economic value of 
timber and forage supply from Forest Service- 
and BLM-administered lands to counties in the 
planning area (see Map 2-41 and Tables 2-22 
and 2-23). This index represents the economic 
importance to individual counties, not to the 
regional economy. The index categories are 
low, medium low, medium high, and high 
importance. Assigning a county to a category 
is based on the summed score of five factors: 
county population change; percent of Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered land in the 
county; percent of Forest Service and BLM 
forage and timber supply; percent of county 
budget from federal land payments; and 
reci'eation visits. Population growth and high 
recreation use reduce the economic score, while 
high percentage of land ownership, forage and 
timber supply, and federal payments to counties 
increase the score. The score-lowering effect of 
high population growth and recreation visits 
stems from the assumption that they generate 
economic activity independent of forage and 
timber use. While it is recognized that Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands are very 
important to recreation use, the index assumes 
that recreation visits can be compatible with 
forage and timber use, an assumption based in 
part on recent recreation use and timber 
harvest data from National Forests in the 
planning area. 

Additional insights can be gained by relating 
the county importance index to other economic 
measures such as employment, county 
economic resiliency, and personal income 
(these data are shown in Tables 2-24 through 
2-28 and Map 2-42 [later in this section]). For 
example, Washington's Klickitat and Stevens 




Map 2-41. 

Economic Importance 

of Timber and Forage 

to Eastside Counties 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Draft EASTSIDE EIS 
1996 



High ^^ Major Roads 

Medium-High ^^^ EIS Area Border 

^BD Medium-low O Cities and Towr)s 

dm low 



counties are rated low and medium low in 
Forest Service/BLM timber and forage 
importance, but have large wood products 
manufacturing sectors (14 and 13 percent 
employment respectively). This may mean that 
mills are processing Forest Service timber 
harvested from neighboring counties or from 
private forest lands. 



Overview of Employment 

A discussion of the contribution that agency 
lands make to economic growth and employment 
is included because growth and employment are 
affected by agency land use choices and are key 
elements of major public issues. 

Regional Employment 

The economy of the project area has undergone 
substantial change over the past three decades. 
In terms of job formation, it has grown much 
faster than the nation as a whole. The number 
of jobs have increased even during periods 
when employment in historically important job 
sectors such as manufacturing, mining, 
logging, farming, and ranching was either 
stagnant, falling, or moving erratically (Rasker 
1995). Employment in service industries has 
increased substantially. The number of 
households receiving "nonlabor income" 
(income from transfer payments, dividends, 
interests, and rents) has also grown. Increases 
in service employment includes gains in 
recreation and tourism plus gains in business, 
education, management, and engineering 
services generated by new residents who moved 
to the area. Evidence of this change is shown 
in part by the 61 percent of the job growth 
since 1969 in services, retail sales, and finance, 
insurance and real estate (see Table 2-26). 
Rapid employment growth is also found in 
advanced technology, retail trade, 
transportation services, and construction. 

A focus on regional employment gains as done by 
Rasker (1995), Power (1996), and others, while 
necessary to understand structural change in the 
economy, can mask job losses in rural areas that 
are not sharing in regional growth (Harris et al. 
1995). This is pertinent to the project area, 
where employment gains have been centered in 
metropolitan counties and counties experiencing 
rapid population growth. 



Employment figures aggregated over the project 
area sometimes do not reflect employment for 
individual counties. For example, three eastern 
Washington counties and seven eastern Oregon 
counties had greater than 10 percent employment 
in wood products manufacturing in 1990, far 
more than the project area average of 2.5 percent. 
Four counties in the planning area had greater 
than one percent employment in mining, more 
than the 0.45 percent for the project area. County 
employment data for 12 major industry groups are 
shown in Tables 2-27 and 2-28. 

Employment Associated with 
Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered Lands 

Direct employment generated from Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands falls 
mostly into job categories such as 
manufacturing (especially wood products), 
agriculture (especially livestock grazing), 
agricultural services (including forestry 
services), mining, and federal employment. 
Another employment sector affected by agency 
land use is recreation and tourism, an industry 
not directly measured by employment data. 
Together, these employment categories are 
those most likely to be measured as an effect of 
changing agency land uses. Currently, over 
220,000 jobs are associated with livestock 
grazing, recreation, and timber harvest on 
lands administered by the Forest Service or 
BLM. It was estimated that recreation accounts 
for 87 percent of these jobs, timber harvest for 
12 percent, and livestock grazing for 1 percent. 

Manufacturing 

Wood products manufacturing, a job category 
closely tied to agency timber harvest, falls into 
the manufacturing sector. Manufacturing is 
still perceived by many to dictate the economic 
health of the overall regional economy, though 
this view no longer fits. The reduced regional 
significance of wood products manufacturing is 
due more to rapid growth in other sectors of 
the economy than decline in the wood products 
industry. Wood products manufacturing 
employment is still locally vital to many places 
in the planning area. 

Manufacturing employment makes up a 
smaller percent of total employment in the 
planning area than nationally, suggesting that 
the area is not comparatively strong in 



manufacturing. This is not the case for wood 
products manufacturing (one component of the 
manufacturing sector), where all Bureau of 
Economic Analysis regions covering the 
planning area have wood products employment 
above national levels. The highest percentage 
is found in the Redmond-Bend Bureau of 
Economic Analysis region at 5.5 percent, while 
the lowest is the Tri-Cities BEA region at 1 
percent. The national level is approximately 0.5 
percent. In 1982. 1986, 1990, and 1993, timber 
industry employment for eastern Oregon and 
Washington ranged from 16,500 to 23, 100 Jobs 
(Haynes 1995). For all of Oregon and 
Washington, timber industry employment peaked 
in 1977 at about 170,000 jobs. It has since 
declined to slightly more than 1 18,000 workers in 
1994. Reductions in employment were due to 
several factors, including legally imposed 
reductions on federal timber sales, the recession 
of 1990, technological improvements, and 
changes in the mix of products manufactured by 
the region's timber industry. Changes in milling 
technology and competitive product marketing 
are longer range forces gradually reducing the 
industry's employment (Rheiner 1996). 

Agricultural Services and 
Farm. Employment 

Unlike the manufacturing group, the agricultural 
services group has a higher percent of total 
employment in the planning area than nationally 
(2.5 percent versus 1.1 percent), showing the 
comparative economic importance of this 
employment in the planning area. Individually, 
all BEA regions except the Spokane region show 
an employment percentage greater than national 
levels. The highest percent employment in 
agricultural services for eastern Oregon and 
Washington occurs in the Tri-Cities region at 4.4 
percent of total. Farm employment for the 
project and planning areas is greater than 
nationally. Project area-wide farm emplo5niient is 
7.8 percent compared to national farm 
employment of 2.2 percent. The Pendleton, Tri- 
Cities, and Redmond-Bend BEA regions, 
representing most of eastern Oregon and 
Washington, have farm employment at 13.0, 
12.2, and 8.5 percent respectively, showing the 
benefit of farm employn:ient to the economy of the 
planning area. 

Minerals 

The mineral industiy generally provides less 
employment in the planning area than 
nationally. Both individually and collectively. 



the BEA regions representing eastern Oregon 
and Washington have a smaller percentage of 
mining employment than does the nation. The 
Pendleton and Redmond-Bend regions have no 
measurable mining employment. Highest is the 
Spokane region, where mining contributes 0.61 
percent of jobs, still less than the 0.66 percent 
nationally, but more than the project area- wide 
level of 0.45 percent. 

Recreation 

Recreation-based employment, while not 
directly measured by the Bureau of Economic 
Analysis, is estimated to generate 
approximately 1 5 percent of employment in the 
planning area. Recreation employment must 
be estimated from the proportion of other 
industry group employment that supports 
recreation, for example, amusement, retail, 
lodging, eating and drinking, and gas stations. 

Project area-wide recreation supports an 
estimated 190,000 jobs. Hunting supported 
the greatest number of jobs with 49,000, 
followed by 40,000 jobs associated with 
pleasure driving activities, and 34,000 jobs 
associated with day use. A regional economic 
study conducted by the Forest Service in the 
central Rocky Mountains recognized the export 
nature of some tourist-related service 
industries. The effect of these service/tourist 
industries on the local economy was found to 
be similar to the earnings returned to a local 
firm from the export of physical commodities 
(DeVilbiss 1992). 

Forest Service and BLM Employm.ent 

Federal employment associated with Forest 
Service and BLM management of public lands 
can be vital locally, both in terms of job 
numbers and wages per job. This results from 
agency policy, particularly with the Forest 
Service, to locate administrative units in small, 
rural communities. The estimated 9,000 to 
10,000 Forest Service and BLM Jobs in the 
project area may not be substantial regionally, 
but 250 jobs in Prineville, or 51 in Ukiah, 
Oregon are very significant to the vitality of 
these rural communities. 

Employment and Wages 

Economic activity can be measured by the 
number of jobs or by income (choices being per 
capita income, personal income, and household 



^^^^^'S^m^mwM^^^^m^iW^-^^^'^^^& 



Table 2-22. 


Factors Used to Score the Timber/Forage Importance Index for Eastern Oregon 


Counties. 




Eastern 
Oregon 
Counties 


Population 

Change' 
1979-1995 


Recreation Visits 

to National 

Forests 


National 
Forest 
Lands^ 


BLM- 
admin 
Lands' 


FS/BLM 
Timber 
Supply^ 


FS/BLM 
Forage 
Supply^ 


Federal Lands Payments 

(% of Total County 

Budget)^ 


Forage/Timber 

Importance 

Index 


Economic 
Resiliency" 


Baker 


1 .2% 


high 


32.9% 


18.4% 


64.7% 


7.8% 


4.5% 




high 


med 


Crook 


23.3% 


low 


22.7% 


26.5% 


74.3% 


9.6% 


15.2% 




high 


low 


Deschutes 


55.4% 


high 


50.1% 


25. 1% 


74.6% 


17.4% 


3.4% 




med high 


high 


Gilliam 


-9.5% 


— 


0.0% 


7.0% 


0.0% 


1.2% 


0.4% 




med low 


low 


Grant 


-1.3% 


low 


54.3% 


6.4% 


85.1% 


14.9% 


30.9% 




high 


low 


Harney 


-11.3% 


low 


8.0% 


62.0% 


94.9% 


20.2% 


21.3% 




high 


low 


Hood FUver 


10.4% 


high 


61.7% 


0. 1% 


49.7% 


1.5% 


5.5% 




med high 


high 


Jefferson 


36.8% 


high 


14.3% 


3.3% 


36.1% 


17.1% 


2.6% 




med low 


med 


Klamath 


3.2% 


low 


42.7% 


6.2% 


52.3% 


4.2% 


8.1% 




high 


high 


Lake 


2.8% 


low 


19.3% 


48.7% 


60.3% 


15.1% 


20.0% 




high 


low 


Malheur 


4.6% 


low 


0.1% 


72.8% 


0.0% 


18.3% 


1.5% 




med high 


low 


Morrow 


-8.3% 


med 


10.9% 


0.2% 


46.4% 


3.3% 


1.1% 




med high 


low 


Sherman 


-9.5% 


— 


0.0% 


10.2% 


0.0% 


1.3% 


0.7% 




med low 


low 


Umatilla 


9.9% 


med 


19.4% 


0.6% 


41.4% 


1.5% 


0.6% 




med high 


high 


Union 


6.0% 


inaed 


7.8% 


0.5% 


48.6% 


4.6% 


2.3% 




med high 


med 


Wcillowa 


7.1% 


med 


57. 1% 


1.1% 


55.6% 


17.5% 


9.7% 




high 


med 


Wasco 


6.6% 


low 


11.1% 


4.5% 


27. 1% 


2. 1% 


3.9% 




med low 


med 


Wheeler 


0.0% 


med 


15.4% 


13.0% 


56.9% 


4.6% 


32.3% 




high 


low 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
admin = administered 
FS = Forest Service 

' Source: McGinnis and Christensen (1996). 

^ Source: Forest Service publication, "Land Areas of the National Forest System." 1993. 

^ Total timber harvest from Oregon and Washington state harvest reports. National Forest timber harvest from Forest Service records. Average value for 1978, 1979, 1985, 

1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993. BLM harvest not reported by county in Washington. 
" Source: Frewing-Runyon (1995). 

^ Source: Schmit, Wilderness Society, forthcoming (draft, 1995). 
^ Based on the Shannon-Weaver Resiliency Index. 



Table 2-23. 


Factors Used to Score the Timber/ Forage 


Importance Index for Eastern Washington 


Counties. 




Eastern 

Washington 

Counties 


Population 

Change' 
1979-1995 


Recreation Visits 

to National 

Forests 


National 
Forest 
Lands^ 


BLM- 
admin 
Lands' 


FS/BLM 
Timber 
Supply^ 


FS/BLM 
Forage 
Supply* 


Federal Lands Payments 

(% of Total County 

Budget)^ 


Forage/Timber 

Importance 

Index 


Economic 
Resiliency^ 


Adams 


9.5% 


_ 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 




low 


low 


Asotin 


20.0% 


med 


13.3% 


2.7% 


46.3% 


1.4% 


0.2% 




med high 


med 


Benton 


24.4% 


— 


0.0% 


1.2% 


0.0% 


0.2% 


0.0% 




low 


med 


Chelan 


25.9% 


high 


70.4% 


1.1% 


59.3% 


32.7% 


0.8% 




med high 


high 


Columbia 


5.1% 


med 


29.2% 


0.1% 


45.9% 


2.2% 


1.3% 




med high 


low 


Douglas 


39.5% 


— 


0.0% 


3.1% 


0.0% 


1.9% 


0.1% 




low 


losw 


Ferry 


22.8% 


med 


33.8% 


0.8% 


25.7% 


14.0% 


1.2% 




med high 


low 


Franklin 


25.6% 


— 


0.0% 


2.5% 


0.0% 


0.2% 


0.0% 




low 


med 


Garfield 


-11.5% 


med 


21.0% 


0.0% 


75. 1% 


2.7% 


1.3% 




med high 


low 


Grant 


30.6% 


— 


0.0% 


2.5% 


0.0% 


14.9% 


0.1% 




low 


med 


Kittitas 


20.2% 


law 


24.1% 


1.2% 


29. 1% 


0.8% 


0.9% 




med low 


low 


Klickitat 


13.8% 


— 


1.2% 


1.4% 


3.6% 


0.4% 


0.1% 




low 


low 


Lincoln 


1.1% 


— 


0.0% 


0.5% 


0.0% 


0.3% 


0.1% 




low 


low 


Okanogan 


19.7% 


med 


44.2% 


1.7% 


33.6% 


10.1% 


1.3% 




med high 


low 


Pend Orielle 


21.2% 


med 


58.3% 


0.2% 


31.4% 


3.9% 


1.2% 




med high 


med 


Skamania 


8.4% 


— 


79.2% 


0.0% 


66.6% 


47.8% 


16.8% 




med high 


low 


Spokane 


18.2% 


^ 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 




low 


high 


Stevens 


35.3% 


med 


13.9% 


1.8% 


12.9% 


1.2% 


0.4% 




med low 


high 


Walla Walla 


13.6% 


— 


0.3% 


0. 1% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 




low 


high 


Whitman 


-0.8% 


— 


0.0% 


0.1% 


0.0% 


0.0% 


0.0% 




low 


low 


Yakima 


22.9% 


— 


1.4% 


1.0% 


25.7% 


0.3% 


0.4% 




med low 


high 



Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLIVI = Bureau of Land Management 
admin = administered 
FS = Forest Service 

' Source: McGinnis and Christensen (1996). 

^ Source: Forest Service publication, "Land Areas of the National Forest System." 1993. 

^ Total timber har\'est from Oregon and Washington state harvest reports. National Forest timber harvest from Forest Service records. Average value for 1978, 1979. 1985, 

1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993. BLM harvest not reported by county in Washington. 
■* Source: Frewing-Runyon (1995). 

^ Source: Schmit, Wilderness Society, forthcoming (draft, 1995). 
" Based on the Shannon-Weaver Resiliency Index. 



>'.;^^-V^ ■^'^'V* i.i'') 



Table 2-24. 


Economic Data for Eastern Oregon Counties (1992). 




Eastern 
















Oregon 


Economic 


Per Capita 


Total Personal 


Non-Farm 


Property 


Transfer 


Farm 


Counties 


Diversity^ 


Income^ 


Income^ 


Income^ 


Income^ 


Payments^ 


Income^ 






in thousands of dollars 










Baker 


med 


14,109 


238,750 


52% 


20% 


26% 


1% 


Crook 


low 


14,962 


243,711 


58% 


20% 


20% 


2% 


Deschutes 


high 


16,981 


1,541,896 


62% 


21% 


17% 


0% 


Gilliam 


low 


15,831 


29,832 


42% 


23% 


19% 


16% 


Grant 


low 


15,282 


129,435 


60% 


16% 


21% 


3% 


Harney 


low 


14,786 


110,967 


60% 


16% 


22% 


3% 


Hood River 


high 


15,597 


289,738 


56% 


20% 


18% 


7% 


Jefferson 


med 


14,091 


221,360 


60% 


16% 


21% 


4% 


Klamath 


high 


14,555 


922,859 


59% 


16% 


22% 


3% 


Lake 


low 


14,983 


117,056 


51% 


17% 


22% 


11% 


Malheur 


low 


13,567 


396,260 


52% 


18% 


23% 


7% 


Morrow 


low 


13,665 


119,587 


50% 


13% 


18% 


19% 


Sherman 


low 


18,212 


38,128 


31% 


20% 


20% 


29% 


Umatilla 


high 


14,250 


939,413 


59% 


13% 


22% 


6% 


Union 


med 


14,693 


382,042 


60% 


15% 


22% 


3% 


Wallowa 


med 


16,495 


128,774 


50% 


19% 


21% 


10% 


Wasco 


med 


15,808 


378,643 


55% 


18% 


22% 


5% 


Wheeler 


low 


14,638 


22,707 


26% 


28% 


22% 


24% 



Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index using Employment Data (Source: Greg Alward and IMPLAN database). 
From McGinnis and Christensen (1996). 



income). Income is generally more difficult to 
measure than employment. Recognizing that 
wages differ by job type, it is often noted that 
the types of jobs created or lost might be more 
relevant than the number of jobs. The 
generation or protection of "family wage jobs" in 
a community is often stated to be an advantage. 

One way to examine the relationship of Forest 
Sei-vice- and BLM-administered land uses to 
income is to compare the industries most likely 
to be directly affected by federal land 
management choices with the industries that 
contribute the highest total wages and wages 
per job. For the top five wage jobs in six 
eastern Oregon counties having close ties to 
lands administered by the agencies, lumber 
and wood products manufacturing and federal 
government employment are the most 
frequently occurring high wage jobs (Oregon 
Employment Department). Wood products 



manufacturing and federal government 
employment also show up in the top five for 
total income (wage per job times the number of 
jobs). Most other high wage and high total 
income job categories for these counties are not 
directly tied to lands administered by the 
agencies. Frequent top five finishers for "per 
job" wages include utilities, local and state 
government, communications, heavy 
construction, and trucking. Frequent top five 
finishers for total income include state and 
local government, utilities, health services, and 
automobile related industries. 

Recreation, a recognized growth industry tied to 
Forest Sendee- and BLM-administered lands in 
the project area, shows how employment growth 
may not offer equivalent income growth. An 
estimated 1 5 percent of employment in the 
project area is supported by recreation - more 
than either wood products manufacturing or 


















^^S 




Table 2-25, 


Economic Data for Eastern Washington Counties (1992). 




Eastern 

Washington 

Counties 


Economic 
Diversity' 


Per Capita 
Income* 


Total Personal 
Income^ 


Non-Farm 
Income^ 


Property 
Income^ 


Transfer 
Payments^ 


Farm 
Income^ 






in thousands of dollars 










Adams 


low 


17,340 


267,409 


42% 


15% 


20% 


23% 


Asotin 


med 


15,779 


314,757 


55% 


17% 


27% 


1% 


Benton 


med 


18,666 


2,422,679 


71% 


12% 


15% 


2% 


Chelan 


high 


18,304 


1,064,715 . 


54% 


18% 


21% 


7% 


Columbia 


low 


17,400 


74,222 


35% 


18% 


26% 


21% 


Douglas 


low 


15,606 


480,330 


56% 


15% 


19% 


11% 


Ferry 


low 


12,501 


90,562 


54% 


10% 


26% 


10% 


Franklin 


med 


14,490 


632,679 


52% 


12% 


23% 


13% 


Garfield 


low 


17,844 


42,761 


32% 


29% 


23% 


16% 


Grant 


med 


15,110 


957,292 


47% 


15% 


23% 


15% 


Kittitas 


low 


15,075 


453,603 


53% 


20% 


23% 


4% 


Klickitat 


low 


14,818 


273,893 


48% 


17% 


27% 


8% 


Lincoln 


low 


18,777 


182,255 


34% 


30% 


21% 


15% 


Okanogan 


low 


16,218 


599,087 


47% 


14% 


26% 


14% 


Pend Orielle 


med 


13,289 


138,041 


49% 


16% 


34% 


2% 


Skamania 


low 


15,893 


147,326 


61% 


18% 


19% 


1% 


Spokane 


high 


16,762 


6,887,560 


62% 


16% 


21% 


0% 


Stevens 


high 


13,402 


481,933 


56% 


14% 


26% 


4% 


Walla Walla 


high 


15,408 


838,458 


54% 


18% 


23% 


6% 


Whitman 


low 


13,990 


578,444 


54% 


20% 


20% 


7% 


Yakima 


high 


15,827 


3,378.772 


53% 


14% 


23% 


10% 


' Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index using Employment Data (Source: Greg 
'■* From McGinnis and Christensen (1996). 


Alward, IMPLAN data base). 



mining. However, many service industries 
supported by recreation activity, such as 
amusement, retail, lodging, eating and drinking, 
gas stations, and others, generally provide lower 
wages than manufacturing, mining, forestry and 
federal employment, the other employment 
sectors closely tied to land uses of the agencies 
(Oregon Employment Department). 



Communities 

The well-being of rural communities 
economically or socially connected to Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands has been 
an increasing, perhaps dominant, factor driving 
the social policy of these agencies. Given this, 
an understanding of the relationship between 



past agency social policy, land use choices, and 
rural communities is an invaluable component 
of the affected environment. Concern about 
the future of rural communities, especially 
those with high employment in industries that 
rely on management of resources on Forest 
Service- and BLM-administered lands, was 
reflected by a congressional hearing in 
Grangeville, Idaho (July 5, 1995). The topic, 
"Endangered Communities," illustrates the 
nature of the subcommittee's concerns. 

The Bureau of Census recognizes 476 
communities within the project area, including 
29 cities with more than 10,000 people and 49 
Census-Designated Places ~ locations that are 
unincorporated but have an identity to the 
local population. Of the other 398 small rural 
com.munities, 68 percent are communities of 



Table 2-26. Employment by Industry in the Project Area. 






Item 1969 


1992 


% Change 



Total Employment 


908,954 


1,619,923 


78.2 


Farm and Ranch Employment 


120,504 


112,264 


-6.8 


Nonfarm Employment 


788,450 


1,507,659 


91.2 


Agriculture Services, Forestry, Fisheries and Other 


9,308 


35,208 


278.3 


Mining 


8,590 


10,372 


20.7 


Construction 


42,243 


81,929 


93.9 


Manufacturing 


119,703 


176,067 


47.1 


Transportation, Communications and Utilities 


44,931 


67,304 


49.8 


Wholesale Trade 


38,110 


72,826 


91.1 


Retail Trade 


141,661 


279,555 


97.3 


Finance, Insurance and Real Estate 


51,879 


90,684 


74.8 


Services 


153,587 


411,911 


168.2 


Federal Civilian 


29,178 


37,965 


30.1 


Military 


28,188 


25,391 


-9.9 


State and Local 


116,924 


206,629 


76.7 



Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis, Regional Economic Information System (CDROM). 



1 ,500 or fewer people ~ the smallest size class. 
These range from 22 to 1,500 people, with an 
average population of 520. 

For the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem 
Management Project, many types of 
information about communities in the project 
area were collected. Harris (1995) contains a 
complete description of this information, 
which included Community Self-Assessments 
~ interviews with 1,350. community leaders 
and residents in nearly half (198 out of 476) 
of the project area's communities. Profiles of 
the economic structure of each community 
were developed (Robison, as cited in Harris 
1995). These will be a valuable source of 
information for the Forest Service and BLM to 
use in future planning, and can benefit the 
communities themselves. 



Conventional Notions of 
Community Stability 

The concept of stability, in reference to 
economy, community, and industry, has long 
been the dominant theme of social and 
economic policy for the Forest Service, and 
somewhat less so for the BLM. In examining 
community economic stability, the distinction 
between the business needs of industry and 
community economic needs is often overlooked 
(Society of American Foresters Report 1989). 
While employing local residents, industry 
interests inevitably differ somewhat from the 
communities in which they are located. Both 
communities and industry are substantially 
affected by forces beyond their control. For 



/T 



"% 



Communities 

The term "community" has several definitions. Communities can be groups of like-minded people who gain 
strength from their relationships and associations. Communities of interest are people employed in a similar 
profession, people who participate in the same activities, or those who share a set of values— for example, the 
"ranching community" or the "environmental community." As used in this section, communities has a more 
traditional definition— spatially-defined places such as towns. The community is where people socialize, 
work, shop, and raise their children. It is often the focus of their social lives. Counties are an integral political 
scale to consider, but leaving the discussion at that level would mask many differences among communities 
within a given county. 



Table 2-27. Employment Data for Eastern Oregon Counties. 


Eastern 
Oregon 
Counties 


Total 

employed 

persons 


Agriculture^ 


Mining 


Construction 


Mfg. Non- 
Durable 
Goods 


Mfg. 
durable 
Goods 


Transpor- 
tation^ 


Trade^ 


Finance'' 


Business 
Services^ 


Entertain. 
Services" 


Other 
Services' 


Public 

Admin* 
















percent 














Baker 


6,154 


18.0 


1.4 


5.4 


2.2 


10.3 


5.6 


21.8 


4.3 


8.7 


0.5 


10.4 


11.3 


Crook 


5,968 


13.7 


0.1 


4.9 


2.5 


28.9 


4.3 


19.6 


3.4 


7.0 


0.9 


7.0 


7,8 


Deschutes 


35,860 


4.3 


0.2 


8.5 


2.4 


15.9 


5.2 


24.0 


6.5 


9,8 


2.0 


11.8 


9.5 


Gilliam 


785 


27.5 


0.0 


5.9 


1.3 


2.0 


15.3 


15.4 


3.2 


4.7 


0.9 


5.4 


18.5 


Grant 


3.302 


22.0 


0.7 


5.9 


0.5 


15.0 


5.3 


16.0 


2.7 


7.0 


1.5 


8.8 


14.6 


Harney 


3,051 


19.0 


0.3 


5.9 


0.7 


18.7 


4.1 


16.9 


2.3 


7.1 


0.2 


8.2 


16.7 


Hood River 


7,720 


20.2 


0.2 


3.9 


3.1 


11.1 


9.7 


20.5 


3.0 


8.4 


1.6 


8.2 


10.2 


Jefferson 


5,598 


12.8 


0.3 


3.8 


2.3 


20.7 


4.3 


19.4 


2.9 


6.4 


0.9 


10.0 


16.0 


Klamath 


23,638 


8.5 


0.1 


4.8 


1.9 


17.5 


6.9 


24.4 


4.1 


8.0 


1.1 


9.3 


13.4 


Lake 


3,182 


25.5 


0.3 


4.5 


1.7 


11.4 


5.0 


19,1 


3.5 


7.2 


0.8 


6.3 


14.9 


Malheur 


10,794 


22.9 


1.3 


4.6 


8.7 


4.2 


5.3 


21.2 


3.4 


7.3 


1.2 


8.5 


11.4 


Morrow 


3,238 


26.0 


0.1 


4.8 


11.2 


7.1 


7.6 


13.4 


2.7 


6.1 


0.7 


6.2 


14.2 


Sherman 


774 


31.0 


0.0 


5.2 


1.3 


4.7 


7.0 


23.6 


1.8 


6.1 


0.3 


5.2 


14.0 


Umatilla 


25,612 


13.1 


0.2 


4.3 


10.5 


6.7 


7.0 


20.7 


3.9 


7.7 


l.O 


11.1 


13.9 


Union 


9,920 


8.4 


0.4 


5.2 


1.9 


14.2 


7.6 


21.4 


3.5 


9.2 


0.9 


10.6 


16.7 


Wallowa 


2,892 


21.4 


0,1 


4.8 


1.0 


17.1 


4.4 


15.9 


3.6 


7.9 


1.0 


10.8 


11.4 


Wasco 


8.811 


11.2 


0.3 


5.9 


2.8 


12.1 


7.0 


21.2 


3.6 


9.8 


0.9 


13.0 


12.2 


Wheeler 


499 


30.3 


0.0 


10.2 


0.8 


6.6 


5.6 


13.4 


2.2 


6.0 


1,6 


3.4 


19.8 


Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
FS = Forest Service 


Mfg. = manufacturing 
Admin. = Administration 


Entertain. = Entertainment 













Agriculture, forestry, fishing. 

Transportation, communications, and other public utilities. 

Trade, wholesale, and retail. 

Finance, insurance, and real estate. 

Business, repair, other professional and related services. 

Entertainment and recreation services. 

Personal and health services. 

Public administration and educational services. 



Source: Haynes and Home (1996). 



Table 2-28. Emplojonent 


Data for Eastern Washington Cotinties. 














1 


Eastern 


Total 








Mfg. 


Non- 


Mfg. 
















3 


Washington 


employed 








Durable 


durable Transpor- 






Business 


Entertain. 


Other 


Public 




Counties 


persons Agriculture' 


Mining Construction 


Goods 


Goods 


tation^ Trade^ Finance" 


Services'* 


Services'* 


Services' 


Admin" 




















percent 
















Adams 


5,847 


26.7 


0.2 


3.9 




10.2 


1.7 


7.1 


21.2 


3.4 


5.6 


0.3 


7.9 


11.8 




Asotin 


7,111 


4.7 


0.1 


5.5 




6.7 


10.2 


3.9 


26.1 


4.7 


9.5 


1.1 


14.2 


13.3 




Benton 


52,440 


5.2 


0.0 


5.7 




7.8 


4.0 


11.5 


20.0 


3.7 


21.1 


1.0 


8.5 


11.5 




Chelan 


23,004 


13.6 


1.0 


6.1 




3.8 


4.8 


6.8 


26.1 


4.3 


9.7 


1.8 


11.5 


10.5 




Columbia 


1,570 


21.0 


0.4 


6.9 




15.2 


3.5 


5.4 


11.7 


2.5 


5.4 


2.9 


11.4 


13.7 




Douglas 


11,664 


16.7 


0.8 


5.2 




3,6 


4.6 


8.8 


25.2 


4.2 


8.1 


1.8 


10.4 


10.5 




Ferry 


2,296 


11.5 


11.4 


9.1 




0.9 


10.6 


4.0 


14.1 


3.8 


8.8 


0.9 


6.4 


18.6 




Franklin 


15,686 


21.4 


0.0 


4.5 




12.3 


2.0 


8.1 


18.6 


2.1 


11.6 


0.9 


6.2 


12.3 


-1-,^ 


Garfield 


969 


28.9 


0.2 


7.5 




0.9 


1.1 


3.8 


18.9 


3.6 


6.4 


0.8 


13.4 


14.3 


fci 


Grant 


22,289 


20.6 


0.4 


5.0 




9.x 


3.7 


8.4 


20.6 


3.0 


7.5 


0.7 


7.8 


13.3 


:cs;- 


Kittitas 


11,882 


10.2 


0.1 


5.2 




3.0 


3.7 


6.8 


25.4 


3.0 


7.3 


1.7 


9.2 


24.5 




Klickitat 


6,437 


13.3 


0.2 


5.4 




2.0 


18.3 


8.2 


19.3 


2.2 


7.8 


0.7 


10.0 


12.6 


*-." 


Lincoln 


3,614 


25.1 


0.1 


5.3 




1.6 


2.7 


5.4 


18.8 


3.7 


8.1 


0.9 


12.2 


16.3 


til 


Okanogan 


13,632 


19.3 


0.4 


6.1 




1.3 


9.7 


5.8 


22.2 


2.8 


6.8 


1.1 


9.9 


14.6 


S 


Pend Orielle 


2,841 


7.8 


0.5 


8.0 




5.1 


19.6 


8.7 


18.3 


1.8 


6.9 


0.9 


7.5 


14.8 


8 


Skamania 


3,328 


8.9 


0.5 


8.7 




as 


23.0 


6.7 


14.8 


3.2 


7.8 


1.0 


6.2 


13.0 


ip 


Spokane 


157,142 


1.8 


0.2 


5.0 




3.1 


9.5 


6.9 


24.9 


6.7 


11.9 


1.6 


14.6 


13.8 


H 


Stevens 


11,583 


8.9 


0.9 


6.1 




1.5 


19.2 


5.6 


19.6 


3.6 


8.6 


1.5 


10.1 


14.5 


Walla Walla 


21,076 


8.6 


0.0 


5.2 




6.2 


5.0 


4.8 


20.8 


4.6 


9.9 


1.2 


12.7 


20.9 


p 


Whitman 


17,167 


10.7 


0.0 


2.4 




2.2 


1.1 


3,4 


19.2 


2.6 


8.7 


1.2 


6.9 


41.5 


Yakima 


77,366 


14.9 


0.1 


4.2 




6.7 


5.9 


7.3 


22.6 


3.5 


9.5 


1.2 


10.8 


13.4 


P 


Abbreviations used in this table 




























H 


BLM = Bureau of Land Manag 


ement 


Mfg. = 


manufacturing 




Entertain. = Entertainment 












^B 


FS = Forest Service 




Admin 


= Administration 




















^J 



'Agriculture, forestry, fishing. 

^ Transportation, communications, and other public utilities. 

^ Trade, wholesale, and retail. 

^ Finance, insurance, and real estate. 

^Business, repair, other professional and related services. 

'* Entertainment and recreation services. 

' Personal and health services. 

^ Public administration and educational services. 



Source; Haynes and Home (1996). 






communities, the effect is cumulative. The 
community has little influence on the business 
decisions made by firms operating in their area, 
while the firms have little influence on 
macroeconomic forces that influence their 
operations. As such, rural communities often 
find themselves vulnerable to boom/bust 
cycles, commodity price fluctuations, and 
national and regional recessions (DeVilbiss 
1992]. Among economic factors that affect the 
relationship between a community and local 
wood products firms are alternative sources of 
supply, geographic isolation (proximity to larger 
labor markets), inter-mill competition for 
timber supply, inter-community competition for 
jobs, and changing technology. 

Berck et al. (1992) sought to examine the 
influence of timber industry characteristics on 
community stability against that of larger 
business cycles by separating the effects of 
being a small, isolated county with an open 
economy from the effects of being dependent 
upon timber. Results showed that the timber 
industry has surprisingly low variation in 
employment - not much above that of 
manufacturing as a whole and much lower 
than agriculture or fisheries. What is different 
about forestry is the historical extreme reliance 
of communities on the timber industiy alone, 
and that forestry is usually practiced in 
isolated areas (Berck 1992). A study that 
included several counties in the project area by 
Ashton and Pickens (1995) found it was not the 
presence of resource use employment in a 
county that caused communities to be 
vulnerable to change, but the absence of other 
jobs that would contribute to a more diverse 
economy. Ashton found that areas with 
proportionately high resource use employment 
and Forest Service involvement tend to be less 
diverse. More favorably, Ashton found that 
these counties tend to be diversifying more 
rapidly than others. This was attributed to the 
agency multiple use policy that provides an 
environment which attracts both tourists and 
permanent residents to the area (Ashton 1995). 

Timber Dependency 

An issue closely tied to community stability is 
timber dependency, commonly put in the 
context of "timber-dependent communities." 
Timber dependency is a broadly recognized and 
studied economic relationship between federal 
lands (most notably National Forest System 



lands), rural communities, and regional 
economies. It is an issue deeply entrenched in 
the conventional wisdom of federal land use in 
the West and frequently mentioned by the 
public in the project area. The issue of 
community dependency on the livestock 
grazing industry has not received the same 
attention as timber dependency. 

Defining the resource dependency of 
communities generally stems from two factors. 
First is the size of the community ~ a variable 
usually associated with rural, geographically 
isolated communities highly influenced by 
outside economic forces and typically tied to one 
or few resource-based industries. Second is the 
percent of employment associated with timber 
harvest and processing ~ especially employment 
generated from National Forest timber. 
Dependency of wood processing mills on 
National Forest timber grew after World War II 
when National Forests increased the volume of 
timber for sale. This made it possible for an 
increasing number of facilities to get established 
without any timber land of their own, relying only 
on National Forest timber for their supply (Dana 
and Fairfax 1980). 

In 1987, the Forest Service identified 
communities thought to be dependent on 
National Forest timber as required by the 
National Forest Management Act of 1976, 
including 66 communities in eastern 
Washington and Oregon. The criteria used for 
the list was that forest products employment in 
a community was at least 10 percent and that 
local wood processing firms used at least 50 
percent National Forest timber. Currently, 18 
communities in eastern Oregon and 8 in 
eastern Washington have greater than 10 
percent employment in wood processing. The 
percentage of National Forest timber used 
could not be determined, although mill surveys 
for Oregon and Washington show that the 
number of mills relying heavily on National 
Forest timber has generally decreased in the 
last decade. 

Recognizing that the 1987 list did not account for 
population size, population growth, or geographic 
isolation, ICBEMP scientists reassessed the 1987 
list using these additional criteria. The rationale 
was that communities judged to be most at risk 
to changes in federal forest timber supply were 
those with small populations, located in counties 






ha 



' *-f5iP?i«, ' 



with low population densities, and judged to be 
relatively isolated (Rheiner 1996). Of the original 
66 communities on the 1987 list, 29 were 
determined to be small (population less than 
10,000), isolated, and in areas of low or negative 
population growth. These 29 communities are 
thought to especially depend on employment 
generated by harvesting and processing National 
Forest timber. In eastern Oregon, the towns of 
Burns, Heppner, John Day, Lakeview, Long 
Creek, Mt. Vernon, Paisley, and Prairie City were 
identified. In eastern Washington, the towns of 
Colvllle, lone. Kettle Falls and Republic were 
identified [AEC 1996). 

Predictability of Supply 
and Processing of National 
Forest Timber 

Public scoping has shown that predictability in 
the volume of timber offered for sale from 
agency lands is a key public issue. 
Predictability is essential to industries that 
harvest and process timber and to communities 
with substantial employment in these 
industries. An explanation of this issue is 
necessary to understanding the economic and 
social conditions relevant to agency decisions. 

Limited Predictability 

Predictability in timber sale volume offered 
from lands administered by the Forest Service 
and BLM is difficult to achieve. Advancing 
knowledge has undermined old assumptions 
about sustaining timber harvest volume 
relative to newer goals for sustaining forest 
ecosystems. Unpredictable natural 
disturbances such as wind storms, forest fires, 
insect and disease epidemics, and even volcanic 
eruptions can change the amount and rate of 
timber volume that can be offered for sale. The 
same holds true for social disruptions such as 
lawsuits, new laws resulting from realignments 
of political power, and changing national 
budget priorities ~ all of which can affect timber 
sale volume. 

Expectations of Timber Supply 

Historically, the timber industry interpreted 
the allowable sale quantity (ASQ) projections 
presented in land use plans as a schedule of 
future supply. Agencies intended ASQ to 
represent a maximum capability, not a timber 



supply schedule. The industry position was 
reinforced by Forest Service even-flow supply 
policies; historical agency timber outputs at 
ASQ level; timber program funding by the 
Congress; and specific supporting language in 
the National Forest Management Act (NFMA) 
regulations (36 CFR 219.16). Also, ASQ 
projections were the only numbers offered to 
represent potential future supply until the 
Northwest Forest Plan first used the term 
"probable sale quantity" or PSQ to portray the 
expected level of harvest (as opposed to the 
ASQ "ceiling"). Like ASQ determination, the 
probable sale quantity was based on 
regulating the acres available for timber 
harvest to calculate a "sustainable" supply, 
but timber volume reductions were factored 
into the PSQ projection to account for new 
silvicultural practices and operational 
limitations (Johnson 1994). 

Even if the flow of timber sale volume were 
predictable, it could not be assumed that local 
mills would be the successful bidder for agency 
timber sales, nor that local communities would 
receive logging and processing jobs as a result 
of those sales. In today's market, the 
destination of federal timber is unpredictable 
as processors reach far to supply their mills. 
Log sorting yards and high efficiency mills 
disperse logs differently than was customary, 
directing logs to their most profitable use. 
These conditions undermine confidence that 
federal timber supply policy is capable of 
supporting jobs in specific communities. 

Tim.ber Projections for the 
Eastside Draft EIS 

The timber supply estimates developed for the 
Eastside Draft EIS are different than the ASQ- 
type projections found in land use plans and 
the PSQ-type projection used in the Northwest 
Forest Plan. Eastside Draft EIS estimates in 
Chapter 4 are derived from a vegetation 
succession model rather than a traditional 
harvest regulation model as used in land use 
plans. Using a conventional interpretation of 
sustained yield, the sustainability of Chapter 4 
timber volume estimates cannot be verified at 
this scale. The estimates in this plan are not 
specific to National Forests or BLM Districts, 
nor do they account for changes in land 
allocations that may result from upcoming land 
management planning. NFMA-mandated ASQ 
determinations, not applicable to this Draft 






*i'k* «di«i^«iuA^<*iA*lUi»«»'y«4b,f4 4 



EIS, will be calculated through the land use 
planning on individual national forests. 
Similar determinations will be made on BLM 
Districts with a commercial timber component. 
It is expected that probable sale quantities 
(PSQs) will be determined and displayed in 
supply schedules separate from land use plans. 

Federal Policy and Actions 
Supporting Comniunity 
Stability 

Supporting rural communities through 
management of public lands is primarily a 
social goal, though it is often framed in terms 
of economic objectives, such as sustaining jobs 
or income. An examination of past agency 
policy and efforts supporting this goal helps to 
establish a basis for future decisions. Key 
factors include the willingness and ability of 
the Forest Service and BLM to manage the 
lands and resources under their jurisdiction for 
the benefit of communities. 

Neither the Forest Service nor the BLM have a 
specific legal mandate to provide economic 
stability to rural communities. Both agencies 
have legislative direction that permits and 
encourages consideration of community 
economic stability when planning or 
implementing plans. Contemporary legislation 
guiding both agencies - the National Forest 
Management Act and Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act ~ is oriented toward land use 
planning rather than specilying economic or 
social policy goals (Dana and Fairfax 1980). 
Thus, the Forest Service and BLM have 
discretion, absent additional guidance from the 
Congress, to establish economic and social 
goals appropriate to their agency's missions 
and available resources. 

Rangelands Administered by 
the BLM 

The dominant use on BLM-administered 
rangelands has been livestock grazing, a use 
that preceded the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 by 
60 years. The Taylor Grazing Act brought 
regulation to livestock grazing on the public 
domain lands and gave the BLM a legislative 
mandate to stabilize the livestock industry 
dependent on the public range (Dana and 
Fairfax 1980). The strong ownership felt by the 
livestock operators for the public range did not 



diminish with regulation. The relatively low 
productivity of the public domain rangelands 
under the jurisdiction of the BLM has limited 
other commodity uses of these lands in 
addition to livestock grazing. Thus, regulating 
livestock operators has been the primary focus 
of the BLM on these lands. 

In the 1960s the BLM began to expand from 
regulating grazing to a more comprehensive 
land management approach. This trend 
continued with the passage of the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA), 
which promoted multiple-use and sustained 
yield management. This Act also sought to 
promote stability in livestock grazing by 
authorizing 1 0-year grazing permits and 
requiring 2-year notices of cancellation. It 
readjusted the distribution of grazing fee funds, 
with 50 percent going toward range 
improvements; at least half of that had to be 
spent in the BLM district where it was 
collected. The Act also authorized loans to 
state and local governments to relieve social 
and economic impacts of mineral development 
(Dana and Fairfax 1980). 

Forest Service Timber Policy 
and Communities 

Use of the National Forests for national and 
regional growth and development was the 
federal policy when the Organic Act was passed 
in 1897, and has remained so. Early policy 
represented a belief that resources existed for 
the benefit of the local residents who needed 
them. The 1905 Forest Service's Use Book 
listed "protecting local residents from unfair 
competition in the use of forest and range" as a 
principal objective of the Forest Reserves, 
apparently in response to concern about the 
influence of big industry. 

The Forest Service was an early promoter of 
using a sustained yield even-flow timber 
policy to promote the stability of forest 
communities (Society of American Foresters 
Report 1989). The Congress, in the White 
Pine Blister Rust Protection Act of 1940, 
mentioned for the first time maintaining 
community stability as the purpose of an act 
of the federal government. The idea of 
community stability was firmly connected to 
timber supply in terms of sustained yield, in 
the Sustained Yield Forest Management Act 
of 1944 (Force 1993; Society of American 



*Pih«¥XWmii'w!WfASv™vSv> A--/: 



s .■■'^/•^■■iv- i'^j\, i ,„„,^. 



Foresters Report 1989). This Act gave 
authority to establish Cooperative Sustained 
Yield Units to "promote the stability of forest 
industries, of employment, of communities, 
and of taxable forest wealth" intending to 
support the stability of communities 
primarily dependent on federal timber. This 
act applied equally to forest lands administered 
by either the Forest Service or the BLM. 

In order to protect domestic wood processing 
jobs and promote small businesses, the 
Congress restricted log exports from federal 
lands and set aside timber for sale to 
companies with 500 or fewer employees. The 
"Morse Amendment" of 1968 prohibited the 
export of unprocessed logs from National 
Forests west of the 100th meridian ~ a 
prohibition still in effect today. Beginning in 
the early 1970s, the Forest Service and the 
U.S. Small Business Administration 
implemented a Small Business Set-Aside 
program. This program set aside a percentage 
of Forest Service timber sales for exclusive 
bidding and purchasing by small firms. 

The National Forest Management Act (NFMA) of 
1976 added substantially to Forest Service 
community stability policy. It solidified a 
traditional but contentious even-flow timber 
supply strategy for National Forests through 
the sustained yield and nondeclining even-flow 
(NDEF) provisions in section 1 1 (36 CFR 219.16) 
of that law. Both sustained yield and 
nondeclining even flow were designed in part to 
address community stability issues (Dana and 
Fairfax 1980). Community stability also 
surfaced in section 14 (e)(1) of NFMA, requiring 
bidding methods for timber sales to "consider 
the economic stability of communities whose 
economies are dependent on such National 
Forest materials," with regulations requiring 
"dependent communities" to be one of several 
factors considered (36 CFR 223.88). From this, 
in 1977 and 1987 the Forest Service developed 
lists of communities expected to better retain 
wood products employment if nearby National 
Forests had the option of using either oral or 
sealed bidding to sell timber (from Forest 
Service correspondence 1977 and 1987). 

The National Forest-Dependent Rural 
Communities Economic Diversification Act in 
the 1990 Farm Bill sought to provide 
assistance to rural communities located near 
National Forests that fit a specified definition of 
"economically disadvantaged" due to the loss of 



jobs or income derived from forestry, the wood 
products industry, or related commercial 
enterprises such as recreation and tourism in 
the National Forest (Ashton 1995). Similarly, 
the Northwest Forest Plan, announced by 
President Clinton in July 1993, included an 
economic assistance component designed to 
help workers, businesses and communities in 
the northern spotted owl region adapt to the 
Plan's timber supply levels (Rheiner 1996). 

E>ven Flow and Timber Supply 

The remedy favored by the Forest Service for 
the "boom and bust" cycles has been to 
maintain an even flow of timber sales, 
transferring a large share of cyclic economic 
adjustment costs from the community to the 
Federal Treasury (Boyd 1989). As applied to 
the community stability problem, this meant 
maintaining a constant supply of timber so 
that macroeconomic-induced changes in timber 
demand did not shut down the mills (and jobs) 
in rural western communities. 

The even-flow approach was also used to 
support existing processing capacity (and jobs) 
in rural areas aside from dampening the effects 
of business cycles. In one case, this was 
formally pursued by authorization of sustained 
yield units under the 1944 law. In other cases, 
it became a consideration in agency decisions. 
A proposed 1991 Forest Service policy on 
below-cost timber programs (timber that the 
Forest Service sold at a financial loss) 
specifically allowed extending below-cost 
programs to lessen effects on dependent mills. 
The 1977 and 1987 NFMA lists of timber- 
dependent communities were based more on 
sustaining customary use than the notion of 
dampening cyclical effects. 

Results ofE^en-Flow Policy 

Literature is ambiguous regarding the 
relationship of sustained timber yields and 
community stability, as measured by 
employment in the timber industry (Force 
1993). Many factors undermine the potential 
use of even-flow supply of timber to stabilize 
rural communities regarded as timber- 
dependent. Macroeconomic forces are at work 
that are beyond local control. Federal 
managers are unable to deliver an even-flow of 
timber according to projections because of the 
need to manage for other uses and meet 
changing public desires. Stabilizing an 



industry is not the same as stabilizing a 
community. Lastly, federal timber can be 
purchased and transported long distances 
rather than purchased locally and used to 
provide jobs in the community. 

Community Resiliency 

Recently, many social scientists documenting 
challenges facing rural communities 
throughout the country have concluded that 
stability is just one way to achieve the broader 
goal of prosperous, vital communities: 

Community adaptability may be a more 
useful concept than community stability 
in assessing which com.munities will 
thrive in our rapidly changing world. 
Levels of human capital, the imagination 
of community leaders, the ability to 
access information, and the availability 
of a flexible, diverse resource base are 
variables that will likely affect 
community adaptability (Beckley 1994). 

Community resiliency, the ability to 
successfully deal with the inevitable, multiple 
social and economic changes that are evident 
in our society, is a primary indicator of a 
community's health and vitality. Harris et al. 
(1995) described resiliency as consisting of 
population size, economic diversity, 
attractiveness and surrounding amenities, 
strong leadership, and other factors such as 
community residents' ability to work together 
and be proactive toward change. This 
definition of resiliency is similar to the concept 
of community capacity (FEMAT 1993). 

Harris et al. (1995) used the Community Self- 
Assessment information to develop a relative 
scale of community resiliency for rural 
communities of less than 10,000 people, to 
measure how well-equipped communities are 
to deal with change. The most resilient 
communities tended to be larger in 
population, have an economy based on a mix 
of industries, view themselves as 
autonomous, and to have worked as a 
community to develop strategies for the 
future. Many communities are beginning to 
work together to Identify ways of capitalizing 
on their location and other characteristics to 
cope with the many changes affecting their 
health and vitality. The data showed that 
there are many paths to achieving resiliency. 



The population of a community and rate of 
change of that population are often used as 
indicators of economic diversity, economic 
resiliency, community vitality, and whether the 
community is prospering or in decline. Haynes 
used population growth as a proxy for 
economic growth. The "Forest Service/BLM 
Timber and Forage Importance Index" 
introduced earlier in this section does the 
same. Generally, this assumption is reasonable. 

Population and Community 
Resiliency 

Larger Population 

Communities with larger populations lead to 
more businesses such that many industries are 
represented with many firms each. 
Employment opportunities follow. This 
economic diversity provides a cushion to job 
losses in declining industries because the 
economy does not depend heavily on any single 
industry or firm. A larger economy also means 
that less money leaves the local economy to pay 
for goods purchased from outside. The result 
is a more economically resilient community. It 
is unlikely that land use decisions of the Forest 
Service or BLM substantially affect 
communities with larger populations and 
diverse economies. This is confirmed by the 
findings in the AEC (1996). 

Smaller Population 

The converse of the above is generally true for 
communities with small populations, having 
fewer industries and fewer firms per industry. 
Even where many industries are represented, 
each may include only a few firms. A decline in 
one industry or loss of a firm, especially if a 
major employer, can mean high job loss in the 
community until adjustments are made. This 
can be especially disruptive if the community is 
geographically isolated with few alternative 
employment opportunities. This situation 
describes many rural communities with a high 
proportion of employment in agriculture and 
natural resource commodity industries. It is 
reasonable to expect that the Forest Service 
and BLM land use decisions can affect 
industries that are important to smaller 
communities near lands administered by these 
agencies, especially where the communities are 
geographically isolated. This is why ICBEMP 
economists identified a set of isolated, timber 



'^"»'Tr'"^'*PNBJTff^7V^*T* '^'" 



dependent communities that may warrant 
special attention in agency land use decisions. 

Population Growth or Decline 

Population growth is usually associated with 
economic growth and vice versa, but not 
always. Some agricultural communities are 
losing population as greater efficiencies in 
farming decrease labor demands without 
decreasing economic output. Gilliam County in 
Oregon is thought to be an example of this 
condition. Additionally, a community can 
experience rapid growth followed by rapid 
decline ("boom and bust"), a situation well 
known in the West. Finally, it must be 
determined whether economic growth is driving 
population growth or the other way around. 
The ICBEMP scientists assumed the latter. The 
premise was that high levels of environmental 
amenities, such as clean water and scenic 
views (mostly attributed to federal lands) 
provides a quality of life that invites in- 
migration. Economic growth is thought to 
follow this amenity-driven in-migration, with 
substantial credit given to empowering 
computer and communication technologies. 

Analysis of population change by Haynes and 
McCool (unpublished) predicted rapid 
population growth for the project area. This 
growth could not be shown to be affected by 
land use decisions of the Forest Service or 
BLM. While agency land uses may influence 
population change in particular places, 
projections of population growth were not 
conducted for areas smaller than BEA multi- 
county regions. 

Economic Diversity 

Economic diversity is considered an important 
component of economic resiliency, whether 
measured at community, county, or regional 
levels. Economic diversity is considered vital to 
quality of life attributes provided by economic 
opportunity and services, including 
infrastructure, medical care, education, 
commercial services, and the critical presence 
of job opportunities (Rojek et al. 1975). The 
following discusses economic diversity at 
different geographic scales. 

County and Regional Economic Diversity 

A measure of economic diversity using the 
Shannon-Weaver Diversity Index (Alward 1995) 



is available for each county and BEA trade 
region in the planning area. This index is 
derived from the number and variety of 
industry sectors and associated employment 
using data from the IMPLAN input/output 
model. An economic system with a higher 
diversity index (more diversity) is thought to 
better absorb and rebound from changing 
conditions than systems with a lower index. 
The system with the higher index is therefore 
more economically resilient. Each county in 
the planning area has been rated as having 
low, medium, or high economic resilience based 
on the Shannon-Weaver diversity index for that 
county. These resiliency ratings are displayed 
on Map 2-42. 

Community Economic Diversity 

The type and amount of employment in nearly 
400 communities in the project area with less 
than 10,000 people was measured to develop 
local indices of economic diversity using 
methodology developed by Robison and 
Peterson (1995). The resulting economic 
diversity values represent a relative index of the 
employment structure of the measured 
communities. It is an index based on the 
number of industries reported in a town and 
the proportion of the workforce in any single 
industry. The greater the number of industries 
and the higher the distribution of the workforce 
across industries, the higher the index value. 
This index is a useful characterization of the 
current employment structure. It is less useful 
for predicting future change. 

Perceptions of Economic Diversity 

As part of the Community Self- Assessment 
(Harris et al. 1995), participants were asked 
about their perceptions of the employment profile 
of their community. People perceived farming 
and agriculture as first in terms of dependence of 
employment on natural resources, followed by 
grazing and ranching, outdoor recreation and 
tourism, forest products, and mining and mineral 
resources. People perceived that most towns' 
employment was linked to a mix of natural 
resources; only nine percent of the communities 
were perceived as highly independent of farming 
and ranching, 1 3 percent independent of tourism 
and recreation, and 37 percent independent of 
timber. Approximately 25 percent of all 
communities were viewed as having an employment 
profile not dominated by any one industry. 







Map 2-42. 
Economic Resiliency Ratings 



50 50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



High ^"^ County Boundaries 

Moderate ■'^^ Major Roads 
Low ^^^ EIS Area Border 



Perceptions were compared with the actual 
employment profiles of each community. 
Overall, people were fairly accurate in their 
perceptions, but they tended to underestimate 
the diversity of their economy and overestimate 
the importance of traditional industries. There 
could be several explanations: people could 
simply be overestimating dependence on 
timber; people could be basing their 
perceptions on income effects or social 
influence instead of percent of employment; or 
job growth in non-traditional industries has not 
been fully recognized. 

Importance of Scale in Measuring 
Economic Diversity 

The size of area over which economic diversity 
is measured is critical. The larger the area 
considered, the greater the economic diversity 
and expected economic resiliency, especially if 
it means including a large metropolitan area 
(trade center) . This is illustrated by the fact 
that individual counties in a BEA region are 
each less economically resilient than the BEA 
region as a whole. This explains why a multi- 
county region can be highly resilient whereas 
individual counties in the region are not. 
Neither counties nor communities are 
considered "functional" economies because they 
do not include enough parts of the economy to 
be even a moderately complete system. This is 
why trade regions like those developed by the 
Bureau of Economic Analysis consist of large 
multi-county areas. 

Community Social and 
Cultural Attributes 

Population size and growth, employment and 
wages, and economic diversity are factors of 
resiliency. Based on the responses of 
participants in the Community Self-Assessment 
Workshops, community social and cultural 
attributes are other factors to be considered. 
These include: 

Strong civic leadership - A high 
commitment of leaders and groups to 
community, active involvement in 
creating and/or responding to change; 
and a strong sense of local control 
regardless of external events or influences. 

Positive, proactive attitude toward 
change ~ Residents either promote 
change and thus vitality in community 



development or, if change is occurring 
on its own, residents respond positively 
and create a desirable future. 

Strong social cohesion ~ A high degree 
of consensus in values and goals for a 
desired future; and working together to 
achieve goals. 

Based on these data, together with economic 
profiles (measuring diversity) of each 
community, Harris developed a relative scale 
of community resiliency for rural 
communities of less than 10,000 people in 
the project area. His intent was to use the 
resiliency index to measure how well- 
equipped the community is to deal with 
change. The communities were divided into 
four classes, with 25 percent of the 
communities in each class; low, moderately 
low, moderately high, and high resiliency. 
This methodology is new and as yet 
unreviewed, but is felt to be useful in that 
some common characteristics emerged; more- 
resilient communities tended to be larger, 
have an economy based on a mix of 
industries, be more autonomous, rated by 
residents as having a local government 
responsive to the public, and to have plans 
for dealing with change (Harris 1995). 

Some of the things people typically base their 
evaluations on include feeling a part of the 
community, having a sense of control over 
decisions that affect their future and the future of 
their community, knowing that local government 
is acting in ways that benefit people equitably 
rather than acting for a privileged few, living 
without fear of crime or environmental hazards, 
and feeling confident that one's children have a 
fair start in life (Branch et al. 1982). Forest 
Service and ELM land uses have little direct effect 
on these conditions. 

Amenity Setting 

A high degree of physical amenities ~ the 
historic character and attractiveness of a 
community's downtown, the attractiveness of 
the community's setting regarding scenic and 
recreational opportunities, and the lack of 
negative elements such as air or water 
pollution ~ is another component of resiliency 
(Harris et al. 1995). 

The presence of desirable environmental 
amenities, and especially the types supplied by 



public lands, can contribute to an area's 
population and economic growth. Scientists 
differ in their interpretation of the value of this 
benefit, which can differ depending on the scale 
at which it is measured. Because tourism and 
recreation, retirement settlement, and other 
uses of Forest Service- and BLM-administered 
lands can provide significant sources of jobs, 
income, and personal enjoyment, communities 
value these agency and other public lands for 
these uses (Society of American Foresters 
Report 1989). Some evidence to support this 
relationship is the high population growth 
occurring in areas with high recreation use 
(Johnson and Beales 1994). Ashton found that 
recreation counties tend to be diversifying more 
rapidly than non-recreation counties, 
attributing this to Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered land multiple-use policy which 
provides an environment that attracts both 
tourists and permanent residents to the area 
(Ashton 1995). 

Rasker (1994), Power (1994), and others have 
emphasized the role of a high quality natural 
environment, scenic beauty, and recreation 
opportunities in influencing population growth 
and shaping the emerging economy of the 
project area. For example, Rasker (1995), 
writing about the project area, stated that. 



include conditions such as crime rates, income 
and employment levels, pollution, and voting 
rates. Only employment and income can be 
closely linked to uses of Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands. 

Quality of life assessments take into account 
people's perceptions. Considerations include 
perceptions about the attractiveness and 
aesthetics of the local environment (Pulver 
1989) and the quality of services such as 
infrastructure, medical care, education, and 
commercial services (Rojek et al. 1975). Many 
of these characteristics could be summed up as 
"small town values." However, many local 
residents who participated in the Interior 
Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management 
Project suggested that many other factors were 
meaningless if they did not have a job. 

One measure of baseline conditions regarding 
quality of life in rural communities was 
provided by participants in the Comm.unity 
Self- Assessment workshops (Harris et al. 1995; 
the Community Resiliency section describes 
these data). These community leaders and 
residents generally rated quality of life in the 
project area as high; 80 percent believed that 
their community was "safe, friendly, and a good 
place to live; few rural communities can match 
its quality of life." 



As we approach the twenty-first century, 
there is a striking change in how the 
region's forests, mountains, streams, 
rivers, and grasslands contribute to the 
economic life of its residents. Once, settlers 
were attracted to the region by the promise 
of logging, ranching, mining, and farming. 
Now, the magnet that draws new residents 
and holds the region's existing inhabitants 
is environmental quality: clean air and 
water, handsome scenery, and native 
wildlife... the region's economy is growing 
less dependent on resource extraction and 
more dependent on less tangible qualities: 
environmental quality, education, 
entrepreneur ship, and capital. 

Quality of Life 

Machlis and Force (1994) identified a number 
of indicators of social conditions regularly 
monitored by various agencies that provide 
indirect measures of quality of life. Usually 
collected at the county level, these indicators 



Attitudes, Beliefs, 
and Values 



This section summarizes what is known about 
sorhe of the public attitudes (favorable or 
unfavorable views of objects or events), beliefs 
(what people think is true), and values (the 
things people hold dear to them) associated 
with ecosystem management. It is included in 
this chapter because not only have the 
physical, biological, social, and economic 
resources and opportunities in the project area 
changed, but people's perceptions of them have 
as well. Trends in these attitudes and values 
are important components of the social setting. 

Fliley and Scarce (1991) examined trends in 
attitudes toward environmental issues over the 
past 20 years, including issues such as threats 
posed by environmental problems, support for 
government actions, willingness to pay for 



environmental protection, perceived 
seriousness of environmental problems, and 
tradeoffs between environmental protection and 
economic development. They concluded that, 
as of 1991, 

Public concemfor environmental quality has 
reached an all-time high. While questions 
about the strength of environmental concern 
remains unclear, growing majorities see 
environmental problems as serious, 
worsening, and increasingly threatening to 
human well-being. 

Dunlap and Van Liere (1978) called this set of 
attitudes the new environmental paradigm, 
which rejects the notion that nature exists 
solely for human use. Recent national surveys 
have found that a miajority of the American 
public supports the environment and believes 
environmental issues should be a high social 
priority. A 1995 survey of Northwest residents 
(Harris and Associates 1995) found that 57 
percent considered themselves an 
"environmentalist" while 41 percent did not. 
Some types of respondents (older people, 
democrats, and people who attended college) 
were more likely to consider themselves 
environmentalists, but the finding was 
consistent whether people were residents of 
major cities or of small, rural communities. 

However, support for environmental issues may 
be lower than it was several years ago, as more 
people question the costs of environmental 
protection. People today appear to be looking 
for a balance between restoration of natural 
processes and continued social and economic 
direct-use benefits. Most people believe such a 
solution is possible (Roper Starch 1994). 

Support for endangered species laws and 
regulations is strong, but may have decreased 
slightly over the past three years. The public is 
increasingly concerned with seeking a balance 
between species protection and costs to society. 
A majority of Pacific Northwest residents 
support reauthorization of the Endangered 
Species Act, yet believe it is only somewhat 
effective in protecting plants and animals 
(Harris and Associates 1995). Support for 
salmon recovery, and a willingness to accept 
resulting socioeconomic impacts, seemed to be 
stronger than that for endangered species in 
general. However, most people perceive that 
the major barriers to recovery are dams and 
overfishing, rather than lack of suitable habitat. 



Survey research typically finds differences in 
opinions between residents of small, rural 
towns and residents of larger urban areas, or 
the national public in general. National 
samples tend to be stronger on environmental 
protection, and less sympathetic to local 
economic impacts than are local residents ~ 
perhaps because they share more in the 
benefits than the costs. For example, residents 
of small towns in the Pacific Northwest were 
less likely than city residents to favor 
strengthening the federal role in resource 
protection (Harris and Associates 1995). 

However, there are many issues on which these 
populations are similar, and one should not 
assume that project area residents will always 
have a certain set of opinions. Both locally and 
nationally, people believe that local residents and 
others who are most affected by public land 
management should participate and have a 
strong say in the outcome. The 1995 Harris Poll, 
for example, found that support for increased 
environmental protection is greater when state or 
local governments take the initiative than when 
the federal government does. 

Another important change in societal values is 
the broader acceptance of biocentric viewpoints. 
Steel et al. (1994) surveyed the national public, 
including Oregon residents, to explore the 
distinction between these approaches: 

One school of thought, derived from such 
important early foresters as Bemhard 
Fernow and Gifford Pinchot, approaches 
natural resource management with a 
utilitarian or resource conservation focus. 
This view advocates the wise use of forests 

for the betterment of humankind and is 
based mostly on anthropocentric 
assumptions. The other, contrasting view 
of forestry is related to the ideas of John 
Muir and Aldo Leopold. This approach to 

forest management is more biocentric in 
orientation and favors the extension of 
ethical consideration to all parts of the 

forests, including birds, mammals, plants, 
insects, and such elements as forests, 
stream.s, and soils (p. 138). 

Both the Oregon and national samples tended 
to be more biocentric (philosophical view of 
emphasizing natural biological systems over 
commodity production and other human uses) 
than anthropocentric (philosophical view 
emphasizing human uses in the ecosystem, 



such as commodity production over natural 
biological systems), but the national sample 
was significantly more likely to have stronger 
biocentric views toward forests than the Oregon 
sample. People with biocentric orientations 
were more likely to support bans on 
clearcutting, creation of wilderness, and 
protection of old growth areas, while 
anthropocentric thinkers were more likely to 
set aside endangered species laws to preserve 
jobs or to give economic concerns a higher 
priority in forest decision making. Additional 
survey research conducted for this project 
showed a preference for biocentric as opposed 
to anthropocentric viewpoints. 



Sense of Place 



Another type of value to be considered in 
ecosystem management is sense of place 
(Scientific Assessment 1996) Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands in the planning area 
contain many places that have special meaning 
to area residents and visitors. Sense of place 
refers to how people define specific landscape 
locations based on their meanings and images. 
The importance of place is embedded in 
American Indian culture as reflected in the 
languages which link land, water, and 
maintenance of cultural identity. Place names 
relay traditional knowledge of land and 
resources by referring to plants and animals 
which characterize a location, the actions of 
people at a location, the spiritual role of the 
location, or some other attribute of the site. 

Recreation visitors develop attachments to 
places based on their past experiences. These 
attachments can pass from one generation to 
another. People who make their living from 
public land resources and opportunities 
typically develop close relationships to the land 
base on which their livelihood depends. 
Community residents and other social groups 
tend to develop collective definitions of places. 

Place assessment is a way to inventory the 
locations, names, and broad meanings of the 
attachments that people share for geographic 
areas. The concept of place has not been 
widely or uniformly used by federal land 
management agencies, either within or outside 
the project area. Specific areas, such as Hells 
Canyon National Recreation Area, have place 
assessments conducted for specific planning 



projects. The task of defining places has 
proven to be a positive process for involving 
community residents and spurring discussion 
about common visions for public land 
management (Galliano and Loeffler 1995b). 
The goal in such efforts was not to protect the 
places identified, or to allocate federal lands to 
one use or another based on them, but simply 
to have another source of information available 
when making resource management decisions. 

Galliano and Ivoeffler (1995b) and others 
(Williams 1995, Tuan 1975) recommended that, 
for the purpose of public land management, 
place assessment should occur at a community 
level, avoiding defining places that have 
meaning only to a few individuals or places 
that are so broad they have little meaning in a 
management context. This was tested at two 
locations within the planning area ~ the Silvies 
Basin area near Burns, Oregon, and the 
Yakima Basin near Yakima, Washington 
(Galliano and Loeffler 1995b). After 
interviewing 30 federal employees and 53 
residents or visitors to the two areas, they 
successfully mapped a finite number of places 
that had similar meanings and boundaries to 
many of those interviewed. This exercise 
suggested that places could be defined at a 
community scale. 



Role of the Public 

While not typically part of a description of the 
Affected Environment, the role of the public is an 
existing condition that is undergoing change with 
the Forest Service and BLM. It is also an issue 
voiced repeatedly by members of the public 
during development of this planning document. 

Public participation in Forest Service and BLM 
land management decisions is guided by the 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 
National Forest Management Act, Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act, and other laws 
that contain legal requirements for 
incorporating public input into natural 
resource decision-making. For example, in 
situations where an environmental impact 
statement is required, NEPA calls for an early 
and open process to facilitate effective 
communication with the public. 

In a survey conducted for the Interior Columbia 
Basin Ecosystem Management Project, the 



^v iwirt-wv^-iW'«w,«ft'VSKi»4 y/^m'/ ■A^ 



public was asked about their preferred level of 
participation in planning. The results were 
quite uniform across all respondents: the 
greatest support was for acting as a full and 
equal partner [chosen by 32 to 39 percent); 
followed closely by serving on advisory boards 
(chosen by 30 to 32 percent). Providing 
suggestions and making the decisions were 
chosen by roughly equal numbers (about 10 to 
18 percent), with none (letting agency 
managers decide) chosen by just 1 to 3 percent. 

The public also was concerned about the 
efficiency of public participation. During EIS 
scoping and subsequent requests for 
comments, many people said, "Yes, ask us for 
our knowledge and opinions in a balanced, 
representative way - but don't spend all the 
time talking about what to do, make sure things 
happen on the ground." 

Many collaborative groups have formed in the 
past few years to address natural resource 
issues. WondoUeck and Yaffee (1994) 
conducted an extensive study of increased 
collaboration between the Forest Service and 
other public land stakeholders. These included 
many well-known efforts that took place in or 
adjacent to the planning area: the Applegate 
Partnership; the Blue Mountains Natural 
Resources Institute; the Nooksack River 
Partnership; the Tonasket Citizens Council; 
the Yakima Resource Management 
Cooperative; New Meadows Community 
Outreach; and Willamette Forest Plan 
Implementation Monitoring. 

WondoUeck and Yaffee stated that increased 
collaboration accomplished many objectives: it 
allows agencies to acquire needed information 
from the public; generates sound resource 
decisions; builds support for resource 
management decisions; influences public 
knowledge and values; broadens the workforce 
available to get projects done on the ground; 
and makes agencies better neighbors. Other 
benefits of increased collaboration are 
increased predictability in resource outputs 
and conditions; public participants can gain a 
better understanding of the issues, likelihood of 
implementation, and other information that 
helps them be better informed and able to 



anticipate changes. Predictability of resource 
flows is an issue the public is very interested in. 

The Northwest Forest Plan's creation of 
Province Advisory Committees was a move 
toward a new approach to public participation. 
Each of the 12 Provinces has an advisory 
committee made up of federal employees and 
members of the public. The BLM and Forest 
Service in Oregon and Washington are 
beginning an effort that parallels the intent of 
the Province Advisory Committees. In the 
portions of Oregon and Washington not covered 
by the Province Committees, two Resource 
Advisory Councils (RACs) are being developed, 
each one covering a distinct geographic area. 

Formed under the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act, the RACs are designed to make 
recommendations to the Forest Service and 
BLM on ecosystem management, watershed 
planning, and other local or regional natural 
resource issues. The list of objectives for the 
RACs includes collaborating in resource 
management across Forest Service- and BLM- 
administered lands, promoting partnerships 
and working groups to develop regional 
solutions to management issues, assisting with 
educational efforts, sharing science and other 
information, and encouraging and supporting 
local groups to implement ecosystem 
management (Draft 1784 Handbook on 
Advisory Committees, March 20, 1995 version). 

Krannich et al. (1994) emphasized the 
importance of people working together to make 
ecosystem management successful: 

It is not merely computers full of social 
indicator data, GIS maps, or species 
distributions and habitat effectiveness 
trends that will determine the success or 
failure of ecosystem-based management. 
Rather, it will hinge on whether or not we 
are able to craft policy mechanisms within 
which we can mix that scientific 
information, assign it meaning,' sort it out, 
and then chart a course for ourselves... the 
participants themselves ~ both in and out 
of agencies ~ are ultimately responsible for 
the outcome and are the judges of its 
adequacy . 



American Indians 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Band ~ A band is a group of people who share a culture, territory, and sense of mutual recognition, 
are primarily those pre-treaty-making period American Indian groups. 



Bands 



Beneficiary ~ The recipient of payment or entitlement based upon an agreement, contract, or treaty. Indian 
tribes in the project area signed treaties and agreements with the United States in exchange for promises by 
the United States to "secure" or guarantee rights the Indians reserved in these treaties and agreements. 

Ceded Lands ~ Lands the tribes granted to the United States by treaty in exchange for reservation of specific 
land and resource rights, annuities, and other promises in the treaties. 

Consultation ~ (1) An active, affirmative process which (a) identifies issues and seeks input from appropriate 
American Indian governments, community groups, and individuals; and (b) considers their interests as a 
necessary and integral part of the BLM and Forest Service decision-making process. (2) The federal 
government has a legal obligation to consult with American Indian Tribes. This legal obligation is based in 
such laws as NAGPRA, AIRFA, and numerous other Executive Orders and Statutes. This legal responsibility 
is, through consultation, to consider Indian interests and account for those interests in the decision. (3) 
Consultation also refers to a requirement under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act for federal agencies to 
consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or National Marine Fisheries Service with regard to 
federal actions that may affect listed threatened or endangered species or critical habitat. 

Lifeways ~ The manner and means by which a group of people lives; their way of life. Components include 
language(s), subsistence strategies, religion, economic structure, physical mannerisms, and shared attitudes. 

Tribe ~ Term used to designate a federally recognized group of American Indians and their governing body. 
Tribes may be comprised of more than one band. 

Trustee ~ One who holds legal title to property to administer it for the benefit of another. The federal 
government trust responsibility arises from promises made in treaties, executive orders, and agreements. 
Certain lands and resources of Indians are entrusted to the United States government through those treaties 
and agreements. 



J 



Summary of Conditions 
and Trends 

♦ There is low confidence and trust that 
American Indian rights and interests are 
considered when decisions are proposed 
and made for actions to be taken on BLM- 
or Forest Service-administered lands. 

♦ American Indian values on Federal lands 
may be affected by proposed actions on 
forestlands and rangelands because of 
changes in vegetation structure, 
composition, and density; existing roads; 
and watershed conditions. 

♦ Indian tribes do not feel that they are 
involved in the decision-making process 
commensurate with their legal status. 



They do not feel that government-to- 
government consultation is taking place. 

♦ Culturally significant species such as 
anadromous fish and the habitat 
necessary to support healthy, 
sustainable, and harvestable populations 
constitute a major, but not the only, 
concern. American Indian people have 
concern for all factors that keep the 
ecosystem healthy. 

Introduction 

This section describes the cultural history, legal 
context, and existing federal agency relations 
with the project area's affected American Indian 
tribes. The ways in which American Indians use 
Forest Service- and BLM-administered lands is 






" -%>>i«>'*".%<W*«¥'^»VvS'-*'>'*^ -" 



/f 



'^ 



Native Americans, First Nations, and 
American Indians 

Native Americans, First Nations, and American 
Indians are all terms used to describe Indian 
people in the project area. Native Americans are 
people who were the first inhabitants of the 
western hemisphere. First Nations refers to pre- 
European Native Americans that were self- 
governing, independent (sovereign), and 
organized, with social and/or political structure. 
American Indian is a legal term in federal law 
and regulation referring for the most part to 
members of federally recognized tribes. 



discussed in the context of their cultural, social, 
economic, religious, and governmental interests. 
The United States government has a unique 
responsibility to Indian tribes. Implications from 
this responsibility for Forest Service and BLM 
decision-makers are described as they relate to 
ecosystem-based management in the project area. 



Cultures 

People rely on their culture in order to live, 
relate to others as collective groups, and 
understand and function in their world. A 
culture includes religious, economic, political, 
communication, and kinship systems. 
Together these guide group behaviors and 
instruct members of the group. Culture is the 



whole set of learned behavior patterns common 
to a group of people, their interactive behavior 
systemis, and their material goods. A Culture 
Area is an area where groups of people and 
their cultures, in this case American Indian 
tribes or bands, share similar cultural traits 
and networks. 

Most of the prehistoric cultures of the project 
area belonged to either the Plateau or Northern 
Great Basin Culture Areas. The Pit River and 
Shasta tribes, who are associated with the 
Klamath Tribe, are grouped within the 
Californian Culture Area. Over thirty Plateau 
bands historically occupied the northern 
portion of the interior Columbia Basin and part 
of the Klamath Basin. Many bands, including 
the three Northern Great Basin bands ~ the 
Bannock, Northern Paiute, and Shoshoni ~ 
occupied most of the project area's southern 
half. Differences existed among cultures, 
especially between tribal culture areas. An 
example of how diverse these cultures were can 
be seen in the area's 13 distinct native 
languages, which were associated with 8 
separate language families. (In comparison, 
Europe has only 3 native language families.) 
Jargon and sign languages helped people 
communicate across language and cultural 
barriers, especially for trade purposes. Map 2-43 
shows the project area's federally recognized 
tribes: Table 2-29 shows the tribes. Culture 
Areas, and bands within each tribe. 
Appendix 1-2 contains more information on 
each tribe. 



Cultural Significance 

Cultural significance refers to a whole set of relationships between a group of people, their culture, and 
their world (landscapes, places, and living and inanimate things). These relationships define and are 
defined by the values, use, meanings, and relevance people hold for their world, behaviors, activities, or 
events. Culturally significant things should be understood and treated within the context of the culture 
that identifies, manages, and values them. 

The cultural significance of salmon in American culture is multi-dimensional. It is a food source, a 
symbol of persistence and fortitude in a life cycle struggle, an economic industry, a prized game fish, a 
regional political and environmental issue, and a symbol of the Pacific Northwest region. Additional 
significance of salmon for many American Indians is founded in their religions, socio-cultural values, and 
identity as a community or a people. 

A better understanding of significance is found in how people relate to salmon through any of the above 
ways. For sports fishermen, salmon are revered for their size and fight; a single large catch brings 
individual esteem. Fishing stories provide social bonding and bravado. Indian fishermen revere salmon 
(steelhead included) as a divinely provided food; it is a "lead-fish" essential on the tables at community 
dinners. A large catch of fish (enough to both sell and give away) brings social esteem to both the 
fisherman and the skilled salmon handlers who prepare and serve the catch. Stories about salmon bonds 
together individuals, family, society, places, and land. 




Map 2^3. 

Federally4lecognized 

Tribes 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROIECT 

Project Area 
19% 



— 1 


Tribal Lands 


5 


Duck Valley 


14 


Pit River 


X\/ 


Major Rivers 


6 


Flatliead 


15 


Quartz Valley 


■^^if- 


Major Roads 


7 


Fort Bidwell 


16 


Shoshoni NW Band 


/S^ 


Lis Area Border 


8 


r-orl Hall 


17 


Spokane 


* 


iribal l-leadquarters 


9 


Fori McDermitt 


18 


Sumn)it Lake 


1 


BlaMcet 


10 


Kalispel 


19 


Umatilla 


2 


Burns Paiute 


11 


Klamath 


20 


Warm Springs 


3 


Coeiir d'Alene 


12 


Kootenai of Idaho 


21 


Wind River 


4 


Colville 


13 


Nez Perce 


22 


Yakama 



i^Kiill»iiiSiiii^^P 



Table 2-29. Affected Tribes and Bands in the Project Area. 



Name of Federally Recognized Tribe^ 



Culture Area Names of Bands Within Tribe 



Blackfeet Tribe 



Burns Paiute Tribe 



Coeur d'Alene Tribe 



Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes 



Confederated Tribes of the Colville 
Reservation 



Plains 



Great Basin 



Plateau 



Plateau 



Plateau 



Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla 
Indian Reservation 



Plateau 



Southern Piegean, Bloods, 
Siksika, Northern Piegean 

Wada Tika, Hunlpui, Walpapi, 
Koa'agai, Kidu 

Coeur d'Alene, Spokane, San 
Joe (St Joseph) River 

Salish (Flathead), Kootenai, 
Upper Pend d'Oreilles 

Methow, Sanpoil, Lakes 
(Senijextee), Colville (Sweelpoo), 
Kalispel, Spokane, Entiat 
(Pisquouse), Nespelem, Chelan 
(Kow-was-say-ee), Columbia 
(Senkaiuse), Chief Joseph band 
of Nez Perce, Wenatchee 
(Wenatshapam/Pisquouse) , 
Southern Okanogan (Sinkaietk), 
Palus (Palouse) 

Umatilla, Cayuse, Walla Walla 



Confederated Tribes of the Warm 
Springs Reservation 



Plateau 



Confederated Tribes of the Bands 
of the Yakama Indian Nation 



Fort Bidwell Indian Community of 
Paiute Indians 



Great Basin 
Plateau 



Great Basin 



Wasco, Dalles (Kigal-twal-la) , 
Dog River, Warm Springs (Taih) 
. or Upper Deschutes, Lower 
Deschutes Wyam, Tenino, John 
Day River (Dock-Spus) 

Northern Paiutes 

Klickitat, Klinquit, Liay-was, 
Kovi'-was-say-ee, Oche-chotes, 
Palouse, Shyiks, Hsqouse, Se-ap- 
cat, Skinpah, Wishram, 
Wenatshpam, Yakama, 
Kahmllt-pah 

Gidutikad 



Fort McDermitt Paiute and 
Shoshone Tribes 

Kalispel Tribe of Indians 

Klamath Tribe of Oregon 



Great Basin Northern Paiute, Shoshone 



Plateau Aqulispi'lem, Slate 'ise 

Plateau Klamath, (Ma'klaks) , Modocs, 

Great Basin Yahooskin, Wal-pah-pcii 



Table 2-29. Affected Tribes and Bands in the Project Area (continued). 



Name of Federally Recognized Tribe^ 



Kootenai Tribe of Idaho 

Nez Perce Tribe 

Lamata) 

NW Band of Shoshoni Nation 

Pit River Tribe of California 



Quartz Valley Indian Community 

Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River 
Reservation 

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Fort Hall 
Reservation) 



Culture Area Names of Bands Within Tribe 



Plateau Upper and Low^er Kootenai 

Plateau Nez Perce (Ni mi pu) , Upper and 

Lower Wallowa (Pikunema, 



Great Basin Eastern Shoshone (Washakie) 

California Ajumawi, Aporige, Astariwawi, 

Atsuge, Atwamsini, Hammawi, 
Hewisedawi, Illmawi, Itsatawi, 
Kosalektawi, Madesi 

California Shasta, Karok 

Great Basin Eastern Shoshone, Arapahoe (not 

affected) 

Great Basin Eastern Shoshone (including 

Lemhi) , Bannock 



Shoshone-Paiute Tribes (Duck Valley 
Reservation) 

Spokane Tribe 



Summit Lake Paiute 



Great Basin Western Shoshone, Northern 

Paiute 

Plateau Upper Spokane (Snxwemi'ne), Middle 

Spokane (Sqasi'lni), Lower Spokane 
(Sineka'lt), Chewelah 

Great Basin Paiute 



Band names in parentheses are either used in treaty or executive order documents, or are names recognized 
by tribes. Legally recognized or most common spellings were used for most tribe and band names. 

' A tribe is a federally recognized distinct grouping of American Indian people, with a continuous political 
organization. Federal recognition has implications for trust obligations and entitlement to many federal 
Indian services. Federal recognition may arise from treaty, statute, executive order, administrative order, 
or from the course of the federal governments dealing with a group as a political entity. 

Source: Keith and Perkins (1996). 



'i^^mmm^^mmmmmsm 



The economic, political, religious, and social 
systems of the First Nations were 
interdependent and integrated. Native 
peoples traditionally organized by families, 
autonomous villages, and to a lesser degree, 
bands. Their associations and alliances were 
often greatest with neighboring villages. 
Political, economic, and subsistence 
strategies focused on local environments. 
However, trade networks, trade centers, and 
task groupings, which interacted with 
surrounding Culture Areas, extended the 
focus of bands and villages. 

Access to and availability of natural resources 
was crucial to native people. Many places 
were visited during a yearly cycle of seasonal 
migrations (see Figure 2-20) to collect food, 
medicines, and other materials, as well as for 
religious practices and social gatherings. 
Plants, usually gathered from scablands, 
meadows, canyons, aquatic environments, 
and forestlands, are thought to have provided 
over half of native peoples' diets. The rest of 
their diet came from fish, animals, and birds, 
which were available in varying amounts. 
These and other natural resources were an 
integral part of tribal culture, and are still 
culturally significant to American Indians. 

Well-traveled routes between villages, 
temporary camps, resources, and gathering 
places were used for seasonal migrations. 
Winter and summer villages, which served as 
residential bases, were established based on 
the availability of water, shelter, food, and 
other resource needs. Resources were not 
found in the same abundance in each band's 
subsistence area. The annually varying 
abundance of anadromous fish, subsistence 
animals, and food plants in known gathering 
areas was balanced by trade with other bands. 
The geography and distribution of resources in 
each band's subsistence areas along with 
differing family strategies created unique 
seasonal migration patterns. 

Both Plateau and Great Basin groups had 
resource areas that drew groups together to 
share resources in particularly rich places. 
The Columbia, Snake, and Klamath rivers; The 
Dalles /Celilo Falls, Kettle Falls, Upper Klamath 
Lake, and Boise Falls had premier fisheries. 
Well-known plant gathering places in the 
project area included the Grande Ronde Valley 
in Oregon, Idaho's Camas Prairie, and 



meadows and prairies south of the Spokane 
River in Washington. These places were also 
significant meeting areas, trade centers, or 
habitation sites. 



Changes in Uses of 
and Relationships 
with the Land 

Although early populations are difficult to 
estimate, the project area's tribal population 
was likely greatest in the mid 1700s. American 
Indian populations have passed through a 
number of cycles, generally increasing in areas 
and time periods that had abundant natural 
resources, and decreasing during long periods 
of scarce resources. 

The introduction of the horse in the 1700s and 
early 1800s increased people's ability to collect 
and store food, increasing native populations. 
In the 1800s, diseases introduced by European 
settlers and missionaries significantly reduced 
native populations by as much as 90 percent in 
large regions in the project area. This 
decimated societies and cultures. 

By the 1860s, the Oregon Trail and military 
roads opened the way for mass Euroamerican 
settlement, and Indian people were no longer 
the majority population in the project area. 
The culture and philosophy of these new people 
were quite different from the native peoples' 
system of seasonal migrations and 
interdependence with natural resources. In 
general, the new Americans settled in one place 
year-round, which created different impacts on 
the landscape compared to the seasonal 
migratory patterns of American Indians. 

Native people set fires to modify their 
environment at certain times of the year. 
These fires differed in intensity, timing, and 
location from current fires in project area 
ecosystems. The new settlers introduced 
additional disturbances to native systems, 
including sheep and cattle grazing, large-scale 
resource extraction, and fire suppression, 
among others. Specific modifications to native 
systems are described briefly in the 
introduction to this chapter, in more detail 
throughout this chapter, and in still greater 
detail in the Science Integration Team report. 




Landscape Type/Location 




Main 

seasonal 

area of 

land use 



High Forest 

IVlountain Edge 



Semi-arid 



Activity Areas 








/i 

__^^J^^ Base camp 


Work Cam 


ps 




-4~;jf^ Meeting places 


CT Hunting 




(g) Processing/storage 


_Q- Transient camps 


•*' Fishing 




(Q) Collecting/gathering 
® Special resources/places 



Figure 2-20. Seasonal Rounds - An example of how a Native American band might have travelled 
across the land within and beyond their hom.eland. As each season progressed, family units left 
their lowland winter residence and followed the seasonal cycle of plant, animal, and aquatic life 
forms as they becam.e available for harvest. 



the Assessment of Ecosystem Com.ponents in 
the Interior Columbia Basin and Portions of the 
Klamath and Great Basins (AEC; Quigley and 
Arbelbide 1996b). 

Land uses and seasonal migration patterns for 
Indian people were altered as a result of the 
influx of new settlers with new cultures. The 
steady growth of Euroamerican populations 
caused conflicts over resource use and 
availability, as well as pressure to change 
American Indian cultures. 

The competition and conflict between native 
and Euroamerican people in the 1800s resulted 
in a treaty-making period between tribes and 
the United States government. Treaties are 
agreements between sovereign nations, and are 
considered part of the supreme law of the land 
in the United States Constitution (Article VI). 
When the federal government signed treaties 
with American Indians, it assumed a legal 
obligation in which the Indians trusted the 
United States to fulfill commitments in 
exchange for cession of Indian claims to land. 

In signing treaties, most tribes ceded lands in 
exchange for set-aside, exclusive-use 
reservations, services, and promises of access to 
traditional land uses such as hunting, fishing, 
gathering, and livestock grazing. The tribes 
hoped this would preserve their cultural and 
subsistence activities and traditional economic 
lifeways for current and future generations. 
Indian reservations were seen by both tribes and 
government as a way to limit conflicts and allow 
tribes to have their own land. 

American Indian use of the land became 

restricted by removal from their homelands and 
a shift onto Indian reservations. Many tribes 
lost their ability to remain self-sufficient because 
they were deprived of a land base large enough 
to supply a subsistence, and they became 
dependent on federal government's assurances 
in the treaties. Bands, communities, and even 
families were divided among reservations, often 
further separating them from their traditional 
use areas and resources. However, many 
Indians continued off-reservation use of their 
homelands, and some even maintained off- 
reservation communities. 

Traditional lifeways persisted even as the 
Indians increasingly conformed to regional non- 
Indian lifestyles. The largely separate 



reservation communities often imitated and 
interacted with counterpart, non-Indian 
communities. Even the internal conflicts and 
divisions that accompanied cultural changes 
were limited by social forces based on family 
ties, a shared heritage, and cultural background. 
These same factors bound people and their 
communities to certain off- reservation lands. 

American Indians seasonally sought out 
familiar resources and places, regardless of 
ownership. They developed understandings 
with landowners and trade opportunities with 
those communities they encountered. During 
economically depressed periods, such as the 
Great Depression, renewed reliance on 
traditional foods and other practices helped 
sustain many tribal economies. Inevitable 
conflicts over land use led to reduced tribal 
access to resources and traditional places. 

American Indians changed along with regional 
developments and governmental regulations. 
For example, many Indian families came to 
depend increasingly on automated modes and 
routes of travel. Various new federal agencies' 
management actions and policies for public 
lands in the early 1900s have changed and 
continue to change American Indian uses of 
lands in many ways. By the mid 1900s, the 
effect of assimilation policies and influences 
caused traditional cultures and values to 
become narrower aspects of American Indian 
life. Most traditional uses of public lands today, 
however, continue to have roots in earlier native 
cultures and socio-economic practices. 



Legal Agreements 

Federal Trust Responsibility 

The trust responsibility is difficult if not 
impossible to define. Pevar in his book says 
"The federal government obligation to honor its 
trust relationship and fulflll its treaty 
commitments is known as its trust 
responsibility" (Pevar 1992). The legal concept 
known as "trust" originated in England in the 
Middle Ages. It meant that ownership of land 
placed in trust was in the hands of one person, 
the trustee, who had the responsibility to 
manage the land for the benefit of another 
person, the beneficiary. 



The modern concept of trust responsibility grows 
out of the 1814 Treaty of Ghent, in Chief Justice 
Marshall's decision in Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 
1 83 1 . Justice Marshall characterized American 
Indian tribes as "domestic dependent nations" 
involving (1) the government or nation-state 
status of tilbes, and (2) a special tribal 
relationship with the United States (Cohen 1982). 
Marshall described the trust relationship as one 
that "resembles that of a ward to his guardian." 
This relationship has been consistently 
recognized by federal courts ever since and has 
been described as "special," "unique," "moral," 
and "solemn" (Indian Tribes 1981). 

In addition, the rights reserved by the tribes in 
treaties and agreements, or which were not 
expressly terminated by the Congress, continue 
to this day. These governmental rights and 
authorities extend to any natural resources 
which are reserved by or protected in treaties, 
executive orders, and federal statutes. The 
courts have developed the Canons of 
Construction, guiding premises, that treaties 
and other federal actions "should when possible 
be read as protecting Indian rights in a manner 
favorable to Indians (Cohen 1982). 

The interpretation of tribal rights and treaty 
language continues to evolve and define federal 
legal responsibilities. For example, a 1994 
court decision involving shell fishing rights 
determined that treaty-reserved resources were 
not limited to those actually harvested at treaty 
time because the right to take any species, 
without limit, pre-existed the treaties (United 
States u. State of Washington 1994). 

The primary focus of the federal government 
trust responsibility is the protection of Indian 
tribes' natural resources on reservations, and 
the treaty rights and interests that tribes 
reserved on off- reservation lands. In fulfilling 
the trust obligation, the Congress also adopted 
laws and policies that protect tribes' rights to 
self-determination, and promote the social well- 
being of tribes and their members. Under 
various laws and policies, agencies have a 
responsibility to implement federal resource 
laws in a manner consistent with a tribes' 
ability to protect their members, to manage 
their own resources, and to maintain 
themselves as distinct cultural and political 
entities. These responsibilities can be readily 
applied to resources and lands administered by 
the Forest Service and BLM. Forest Service 
and BLM trust responsibilities apply to those 



actions under their authority. For example, 
they can affect activities on lands they 
administer relative to plant and animal habitats. 

The federal government trust responsibility 
compels agencies to conduct their activities 
consistent with obligations set forth in treaties 
and statutes. In carrying out their trust 
responsibilities, the BLM and Forest Service 
must assess proposed actions to determine 
potential impacts on treaty rights, treaty 
resources or other tribal interests. 'Where 
potential impacts exist, the agencies must seek 
consultation with affected tribes and explicitly 
address those impacts in planning documents 
and final decisions. Consultation with the 
tribes, described later in this section, is 
essential in carrying out that trust 
responsibility. A key issue is the federal 
government's trust obligation to ensure that 
tribal treaty rights and interests will be 
protected. Agencies often consider that trust is 
carried out when tribal interests have been 
considered prior to making land use decisions. 
However, consultation and consideration in and 
of themselves may not be enough to fulfill 
federal trust responsibilities. Tribes contend 
that treaty resources must actually be protected 
before land management activities can proceed. 
Despite the legal disputes between processional 
duties associated with project decision-making 
processes and substantive duties consisting of 
guarantees. Federal fulfillment of trust is 
ultimately measured by the actual effects of 
Federal actions. 

Meeting the purpose and need for action as 
described in Chapter 1 of restoring and 
maintaining the long-term ecosystem health and 
integrity on the lands administered by the Forest 
Service or BLM, while still supporting the 
economic and/or social needs of people, cultures, 
and communities at sustainable and predictable 
levels of products and services from those lands, 
is consistent with, if not equal to, meeting the 
government's federal trust responsibilities. 

Other Agreements 

Although the treaty-making era ended in 1871, 
negotiations with tribes continued and resulted 
in agreements ratified by both houses of the 
Congress. Like treaties, agreements and 
statutes are the supreme law of the land, 
creating rights and liabilities that are virtually 
identical to those established by treaties 






(Cohen 1982). Executive orders were signed in 
the late 1800s and early 1900s with the intent 
to reserve lands for tribal use. identify certain 
services, and occasionally to identify rights for 
non-treaty tribes. With regard to the 
applicability of the basic trust doctrine, the 
Congress has not drawn distinctions between 
treaty and non- treaty tribes (Cohen 1982). 



authority, directly address the broad social and 
natural resource concerns of their citizens. 
Most tribes are developing internal organizations 
and deliberative processes to deal with land 
management agencies. Many are asking 
federal agencies to take a more proactive role 
on their behalf, especially in the areas of treaty 
rights, trust resources, and ecosystem health. 



Tribal Governments 

Tribal governments have broad social and 
natural resource responsibilities toward their 
membership and often operate under different 
cultural and organizational goals than federal 
agencies. Enrolled tribal members are entitled 
to exercise those reserved rights and benefits 
held by a tribal government, but are subject to 
tribal government regulations. Differences in 
the character of tribal organizations exist 
among tribes based on how they were given 
federal recognition, provided reservations, and 
whether they adopted the Indian Reorganization 
Act of 1934. This act encouraged tribes to 
organize themselves under formal constitutions 
approved by the federal government. 

Tribes have interest in reservations (owned 
communally by a tribe) , Indian allotments 
(owned by an individual) , and off- reservation 
lands, where no legal title to the land remains; 
however, the nature of interest and legal rights 
vary. Some tribes have a legal right to fish at 
all usual and accustomed places (specified in 
treaties) for both on and off-reservation ceded 
lands, regardless of property ownership. 

In the past, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 
represented virtually the entire governing 
authority over Indian tribes, including housing, 
schooling, and various other aspects of their 
social structure. The Self-Determination and 
Education Assistance Act, passed in 1975, 
authorized the tribes to contract to operate BIA 
Programs. Since then, the Act has been 
amended three times (1988, 1991, and 1994), 
giving participating tribes even broader 
authority to manage and operate Bureau of 
Indian Affairs and other Department of Interior 
agency programs. 

Tribes' traditional and complex cultural ties to 
public lands still generate tribal concerns on 
how those lands are managed. Tribal 
governments, now with enhanced governing 



Current Federal 
Agency Relations 

The existing relationships between tribes and 
federal agencies have evolved rapidly in the last 
three years. Empowerment of tribal 
governments and numerous federal court cases 
involving treaty-reserved fishing rights in the 
past two or three decades are partially 
responsible. The momentum to advance 
federal agency-tribal relations in the project 
area has increased since 1993. This evolution 
responds to new legal interpretations, 
legislation, executive orders, and departmental 
direction that encourages recognition of tribal 
government issues, government-to-government 
consultation, and resolution of tribal concerns 
through consensus-seeking approaches. A 
chronology of these events can be found in 
Appendix 1-2. 

Current Forest Service and BLM relations with 
tribes vary across the project area. The 
frequency of agency-tribe contacts often 
depends more on the nature of an established 
relationship than whether an agency is 
proposing actions with potential effects on 
tribal interests. When an agency such as the 
BLM or Forest Service initiates an action, such 
as developing this EIS, they consult with 
affected American Indian tribes. Agencies tend 
to only consult tribes who have overlapping 
ceded lands or neighboring reservation lands, 
although affected Indian groups are those with 
interests in land management action(s) ~ even if 
they are non-federally recognized American 
Indian communities. 

Federal law requires the BLM and Forest 
Service to consider tribal interests when 
conducting actions that may affect natural 
resources on tribal lands and/or the socio- 
economic well-being of its people. Examples of 
these interests and assets include, but are not 
limited to, air quality, water quality and 






quantity, anadromous fish runs, migrating 
wildlife, and cultural and religious interests of 
the tribe. Agencies must carry out their 
activities in a manner that protects Indian 
trust assets, avoids adverse impacts when 
possible, and mitigates impacts where they 
cannot be avoided. Federal policies also 
require explicit discussion and consideration of 
Indian trust assets in environmental 
assessments and impact statements (Columbia 
River System Operations Review FEIS 1995). 



American Indian Issues 

"Secretarial Order No. 3175 and Executive 
Order 13007 directs agencies to consult with 
potentially affected tribal governments 
concerning possible impacts on tribal interests 
and to explicitly address anticipated effects in 
the planning, decisional and operational 
documents that are prepared for the project. 
Agencies are also directed by the Secretarial 
Order to consult with the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs and the Office of the Solicitor if any 
impacts on tribal interests are identified. The 
following issues have been identified and 
assessed through implementation of such an 
approach since December 1993. 

Many tangible and intangible resources and 
values that interest American Indians are the 
same as those that interest members of the 
general public, which are described in 
Appendix 1-4 and summarized in Chapter 1. 
Some issues are unique to American Indians 
because of tribal interests, land ownership, 
and other characteristics that are different 
from those of the general public. Many of 
these issues are complex and often sensitive, 
and each tribe emphasizes issues specific to 
its interests. Although many of these issues 
are similar among tribes, how they would like 
them addressed by land management agencies 
may vary. A number of federal agencies have 
developed revised policies to respond to 
Indian issues. Tribal expectations are defined 
and understood through consultation. 

Trust Obligation 

The most fundamental tribal issue identified 
during the course of the project involves 
differing perceptions between the tribes and the 
Federal government regarding "trust 
obligations" of the Federal government in 



regard to off-reservation settings. The U.S. 
courts have been reluctant to define the precise 
scope of the federal-Indian trust relationship. 
Tribes consider the trust obligation as a 
substantive duty, one that should ensure 
protection of tribal interests on public lands as 
well as trust lands, or at least an adherence to 
a policy of prioritization in which protection of 
tribal interests enjoys a standing priority over 
certain forms of other interests. Tribes contend 
that the federal land management agencies 
have not historically and currently manage 
natural resources in accordance with Indian 
treaty rights or federal trust responsibility. 
Tribes assert Federal agencies must exercise 
their authorities in a manner which will protect 
and restore the habitat needed to support 
resources on which meaningful exercise of 
treaty rights depends. 

Because trust responsibilities remain undefined, 
agencies are unsure when a responsibility is met. 
Therefore, the Federal interpretation of trust 
obligations primarily focuses on a procedural 
duty in which protection of treaty rights and 
tribal interests is taken into account by the 
agencies commonly through a government to 
government consultation process with tribal 
governments. This interpretation of trust 
responsibilities has been recently identified in 
Department of Interior Manual release 512 DM 2 
(December 1, 1995). The Department of 
Agriculture has similar policies expressed in 
Departmental Regulation No. 1020-6 (October 
16, 1992). Agencies must identify if any 
proposed activity poses an impact on Indian 
interests on public or trust lands, ensure such 
impacts are explicitly addressed, consult with 
affected tribes and document potential conflicts 
fully incorporating tribal views, and explaining 
how a decision is consistent with the 
government's trust responsibility. Resources 
located outside reservation boundaries are 
considered "in common" resources in regard to 
treaty rights, hence considered as "treaty 
resources" rather than "trust resources." From 
this federal perspective, off-reservation resources 
of interest to tribes may be subject to competing 
and conflicting uses which in some 
circumstances may be more compelling and 
supersede the tribal rights and interests. Aside 
from these divergent legal interpretations, treaty 
rights and trust obligations do serve to establish 
a unique inter-governmental relationship 
requiring at minimum that federal agencies must 
identify tribal interests and needs and fully 
account for these in their decisions. 



Consultation/Participation 

As noted above, the intergovernmental 
consultation process serves as the primary 
means for the federal agencies to carry out their 
trust obligations. Historically, agencies, when 
they have attempted to consult with tribes, have 
pursued consultation on the agencies' 
perception of what consultation constitutes. In 
sum, consultation is often an ill-defined, 
erratically implemented process at best. In 
actuality there are as many definitions for 
consultation and fulfillment of trust as their are 
Indian nations. For that reason, consultation is 
conducted with each tribe individually. For 
example, the Confederated Tribes of the 
Umatilla Indian Reservation define consultation 
as a formal process of negotiation, cooperation 
and policy-level decision-making between 
sovereigns on a government to government 
basis aimed at reaching mutual decisions that 
will protect tribal lifestyle, culture, treaty rights, 
religion and economy. Tribal governments 
cannot formally consult on every site-specific 
federal project. Thus policy level decision 
making that will be applied to all projects must 
ideally occur. A need exists for government to 
government coordination to establish mutually 
agreeable procedures. 

While most tribes appreciated the direct contact 
with ICBEMP staff and project leaders, many 
tribes feel they should have had a more integral 
role in the whole ICBEMP process, with tribal 
scientist involvement and tribal participation in 
development of alternatives. Funding was 
identified as one factor in this failure. The 
tribes assert that the agencies are not meeting 
their trust responsibilities because of not 
funding tribal participation. From the tribal 
perspective, effective project participation must 
include participation in the project 
implementation process as well with full 
representation on intergovernmental oversight 
groups that may be established. 

Community Weil-Being 

Project area tribal issues need to be viewed 
relative to agency effects on Indian reservations 
and allotments, ceded lands, traditional 
homelands, areas of tribal interest, and areas 
of mutual interest with other tribes; cultural 
survival; treaty rights; trust assets and 
resources; American Indian religious 
practices; cultural heritage resources and 



places; and tribes' socio-economic well-being. 
Tribal community health and well-being are 
based on a number of factors, including 
economic growth, freedom to pursue 
traditional uses of the land, effective trust 
relationship with the federal government, and 
lack of infringements on religious practices. 
Shortfalls in any of these areas can lead to 
effects on community well-being, and may be 
reflected in social measures such as 
unemployment, substance abuse, and suicide. 

Sensitive Tribal Species 

The availability of culturally significant species 
and access to socially and/or traditionally 
important habitats (ethno-habitats) support the 
well-being of Indian communities as many 
social, cultural, and economic activities center 
on the harvest, preparation, trade, and 
consumption of such resources. The occurrence 
of culturally significant species can be predicted 
through their known associations to types of 
landscapes and habitats. The presence and 
health of ethno-habitats can be assessed by 
using ecological information and the cultural 
expertise of a tribe and traditional users. The 
degree of access to resources and places can be 
determined by examining the potential effects of 
physical obstacles, administrative barriers, and/ 
or behavior constraints that management 
actions may impose. 

Restoration 

Restoration of native species' habitats is central 
to many tribal interests. However, the tribes 
have asserted that "restoration" means many 
things to many people. Consequently, the 
tribes wish to see that a definition of restoration 
be developed, then objectives and standards be 
written to implement restoration activities. 
However, the tribes have voiced concerns that 
the ICBEMP concept of restoration includes 
more habitat degradation, for example 
sacrificing fish and wildlife values in efforts to 
restore an historic mix of tree species. The 
tribes are concerned that timber and grazing 
activities still predominate land management 
considerations to the detriment of other 
resources. Many tribes are dissatisfied with the 
lack of adequate protection measures and 
absence of restoration in PACFISH (from which 
much of the aquatics strategies are derived) . 
There is great concern that what comes out of 
the ICBEMP will be even less protective than 



PACFISH. Most Tribes have their own 
restoration plans, the Upper Grande Ronde 
Plan is an example. They assert that significant 
restoration of degraded habitats must occur 
before other land use activities that would 
degrade the habitat are allowed. 

Tribes contend that the federal trust 
responsibilities and statutes require the 
development and adoption of an alternative that 
allows unimpeded recovery of all damaged 
habitats and complete protection of high quality 
habitat. In regard to riparian protection, 
measures are recommended including: (1) 
provision that only actions that have low risk be 
allowed in riparian areas; (2) prohibition of new 
roads, logging or mining, in riparian areas; (3) 
suspension of grazing until habitat standards 
are met in watersheds; (4) establishment of 
riparian reserves as actual land allocations in 
agency land use plans; and (5) creation of 
minimum buffers, such as the lesser of 300' 
slope distance from floodplain or top of 
topographic divide on all streams (Classes I-fV]. 

Tribes place emphasis on the analysis of 
cumulative effects, including: (1) assessment of 
ongoing impacts in watersheds resulting from 
current and past BLM/ Forest Service land 
management activities; (2) full inventory of 
watershed/riparian conditions and activities, 
such as stream crossings, road density, grazing, 
mining, logging and estimated sediment delivery; 
(3) correlation of stream conditions with habitat 
standards based on surveys of all listed fish 
bearing streams; and, (4) suitability 
determination for grazing. In regard to the latter, 
tribes contend that agencies should not employ 
"Proper Functioning Condition" as a standard for 
grazing compatibility or riparian health. 

Tribes assert that the real forest health crisis is 
associated with degraded conditions of 
watersheds, decreased salmonid populations, 
and loss of old growth ponderosa pine and 
general old growth structure, as opposed to 
current stand composition and fuel load 
conditions. They, therefore, believe that forest 
health should be re-defined as watershed health 
and emphasize the use of fire as a tool for 
changing stand conditions. The tribes are 
concerned that significant logging will occur 
under the name of salvage. Various tribes 
recommend no further cutting of larch and 
ponderosa pine. Salvage logging should be 
limited to small diameter, remain outside 
roadless and riparian areas, not develop new 



roads, and not enter after fire until the 
ecosystem is stabilized. 

Place Attachment 

Indian people have long held pronounced and 
special attachments to the land, which are 
understood and expressed through their 
relationships with culturally significant 
places. Consequently, traditional land uses 
usually occur in the context of culturally 
significant places, through which place 
attachments and values have become 
embedded elements in Indian cultures and 
religious beliefs. Tribal interests in the 
integrity of such places involve a range of 
area types: areas of interest, landscapes, 
traditional use areas and localities such as 
ethno-habitats, burial sites, and 
archeological sites. Cultural places may be 
valued at the community, tribal, and inter- 
tribal levels. 

Harvestability 

The health and availability of resources are of 
great interest to American Indian cultures. A 
key issue raised by tribes for this project relates 
to sustainability of tribally sensitive species and 
involves the concept of "harvestability" which 
serves as an expansion on Federal concepts of 
species "viability." A difference of opinion exists 
between the federal government and tribes 
regarding what constitutes "harvestability." 

The tribes assert that the BLM/Forest Service 
must comply with federal obligations under the 
Pacific Salmon Treaty and U.S. v. Oregon as 
well as the rebuilding goals established by the 
Northwest Power Planning Council and 
conformance with the Clean Water Act, NFMA, 
and ESA. The Columbia River tribes seek 
agency conformance with the Tribal Restoration 
Plan which contains specific, quantified 
objectives. The tribes make use of "harvestable" 
species population to define a desired level of 
harvest for subsistence, commercial, spiritual 
and cultural needs. Harvestable populations of 
salmonids and other fish, wildlife and plant 
species important to the tribes must be the goal 
of any adopted alternative. Harvestability, in 
this manner, constitutes a tribal desired future 
conditions. The Forest Service management 
responsibilities are to provide for "viable 
populations" of existing native and nonnative 
vertebrate species. The determination of a 






j^.lW^Vv'ft 



"viable population" level also defines the level of 
escapement required for conservation purposes, 
which in turn is used to determine the 
"harvestable population." Certainly, the 
disparity between viability and harvestability is 
most critical for anadromous fish species as 
opposed to terrestrial big game and cultural 
plant species. The extent to which there may 
be a legal obligation imposed on the Federal 
government to provide habitat capable of 
supporting "harvestable" levels of resources 
from the public lands is not an issue which will 
be resolved in this document. Information and 
population trends for a sample of species of 
concern are shown in Table 2-30. 

Cultural Resource and Cultural 
Practices Protection 

Agencies and tribes offer differing defmitions for 
cultural resources as addressed in Chapter 2. 
In addition to protection of archaeological sites, 
agencies should include efforts to rehabilitate 
gathering sites and restore native plant 
communities and restore watershed health and 
function by meeting minimum legal requirements 
such as water quality standards. In addition, 
tribes have requested that all Forest and BLM 
administrative field offices develop and 
implement agreements on implementing legal 
requirements for cultural resource protection 
(such as NAGPRA, NHPA and ARPA), including 
plans for locating and evaluating Traditional 
Cultural Properties (pursuant to NPS Bulletin 
38) under Section 106 of NHPA, and allow for 
full participation of tribes in performance of 
cultural resource inventories. 

Accountability 

Tribes consider that the draft ICBEMP 
standards and objectives give too much 
flexibility to local decision makers to do 
activities that may damage aquatic and other 
resources to which the tribes retain rights or 
interest. Leaving development of objectives and 
standards to site-specific projects, or allowing 
changes in the standards and objectives 
following watershed analysis, leads to 
subjective, inconsistent decision making that 
can result in further degradation. 
Consequently, tribes assert that standards 
must be enforceable, measurable and 
accountable, rather than simply advocating 
more assessment processes. Tribes contend 



that standards must ensure full protection of 
high quality habitat and restoration of degraded 
habitat. Such standards for fish habitat should 
include threshold values for substrate, bank 
stability and water temperature that require 
management changes needed to meet these 
standards, such as foregoing and suspending 
activities that retard attainment in watersheds 
where standards are not met. 



Consultation 

Consultation is not a single event, it is a 
process that leads to a decision, for example, 
the Record of Decision for this EIS. 
Consultation means different things to different 
tribes. It can be either a formal process of 
negotiation, cooperation, and policy-level 
decision-making between tribal governments 
and the federal government, or a more informal 
process. Tribal rights and issues are discussed 
and factored into the decision. Consultation 
can be viewed as an ongoing relationship 
between an agency (or agencies) and a tribe (or 
tribes), characterized by consensus-seeking 
approaches to reach mutual understanding and 
resolve issues. It may concern issues and 
actions that could affect the government's trust 
responsibilities, or other tribal interests. 

Consultation serves at least five purposes: 

♦ to identify and clarify the issues, 

♦ to provide for an exchange of existing 
information and identify where 
information is needed, 

♦ to identify and serve as a process for 
conflict resolution and, 

♦ to proyide an opportunity to discuss and 
explain the decision. 

♦ to fulfill the core of the federal trust 
obligation. 

Legal requirements for federal agencies to 
consult tribes and American Indian 
communities has its basis in federal law, court 
interpretations, and executive orders (see 
Appendix 1-2). 






Table 2-30. Species Population Trends in the Project Area. 



Species Name 



Population Trend 



Regulation 



Comments 



Anadromous salmonids Declining 



Federal, state, and tribal 



Primary cause for decline is due to human-caused effects on habitat 
from hatcheries, dams, and harvests. Some species are currently 

listed as threatened or endangered, such as Snake River sockeye, and 
spring and fall chinook salmon. 



Resident salmonids, 
whitefish 



Declining 



Federal, state, and tribal 



Primary cause for decline is human-caused degradation of headwater 
and main-stem habitat and hatchery influences. Research on 
metapopulation interactions of species is still needed. 



Sturgeon, lamprey 



Declining 



Federal, state, and tribal 



Main-stem hydroelectric dams have changed free flowing systems into 
slack water environments, and these dams impede local migration. 
Much information is still needed on these species. Freshwater habitat 
degradation is thought to have a negative effect. 



Sucker, sculpin, mussel 



Unknown 



Federal, state, and tribal 



Detailed, accurate information is lacking on many of these species. 
Species endemic to portions of the project area are facing immediate 
threats to survival because of poor recruitment and water rights 
issues. 



Mule deer, elk, black-tailed 
white-tailed deer, 
pronghom, and moose 



Significant increase from over- 
hunting in late 1800s. Current 
populations stable. White-tailed 
deer and and elk increasing range. 
Pronghom and moose recovering 
some lost historic range. 



State and tribal for hunting 
numbers and seasons 



In general, these ungulates have increased due to control of 
commercial hunting in the late 1 880s and their adaptability to early 
serai vegetation and edge habitat created by logging. Intensive 
management of habitat, as well as control over harvest, have increased 
populations. Roads, dogs, fire management, urban sprawl into winter 
ranges, poaching, and grazing competition with livestock are all 
concerns which could cause declining populations in the future. 



Mountain goat 



Declining populations, although 
historic range has increased into 
other habitats. 



State and tribal for harvest 



This species was impacted by competition for forage from domestic 
sheep and trophy poaching. Forage has not regenerated well due to 
fire suppression. 



Bighorn sheep 



General decline from historic 
populations, although some local 
gains in recent decades. 



State and tribal for harvest 



Bighorn sheep have declined due to disease transmission from 
domestic sheep, conifer encroachment, and fragmentation of seasonal 
range by roads and houses. They have also been impacted by 
competition for forage from domestic sheep and trophy poaching. 

Forage has not regenerated well due to fire suppression. 



Table 2-30. Species Population Trends in the Project Area (continued). 



Species Name 



Grizzly bear, 
gray wolf 



Population Trend 



Regulation 



Comments 



Declining since the mid 1800s to 
near extinction. In the past 30 
years, increasing due to protection 
and immigration from Canada. 
Populations stable. 



Protected by U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Ser^nce as 
threatened [grizzly) or 
endzingered (gray wolf) 



Grizzly bears are isolated in large blocks of relatively undisturbed 
moist and cold forest in northern Washington, Idaho, Montana, and 
the Yellowstone ecosystem. Wolf populations are increasing in the 
same habitat areas and starting to move into other habitats in 
northern portions of the project area. There is concern for poaching, 
public fear of predators, road access to habitat, prey base stability, 
isolation of populations, and conditioning of predators to human foods 
and livestock. 







Black bear 



Variable by state. Some states have 
changed hunting regulations, and 
populations have increased. 
Stable elsewhere. 



State and tribal for harvest 



Black bears are habitat generalists and have benefitted from early 
serai vegetation and edge habitat created through logging. Population 
trends are not well known, nor is the impact of baiting, human 
conflicts, and harvest. Fire suppression and changes in berry 
production and habitat structure may impact bears. Competition 
between bears and domestic sheep for vegetation is a concern. 



Jackrabbit, Nuttail's cotton- Decreasing 
tail, pygmy rabbit, snowshoe 
hare, sage grouse, sharp- 
tailed grouse, marmot 



State for harvest 



Significant decline in shrub steppe and desert salt shrub communities, 
along with exotic species invasion and livestock grazing, have seriously 
decreased forage and cover for grouse and rabbits. Snowshoe hares 
have been impacted by fire suppression and decreases in young 
lodgepole pine, riparian shrub, and hardwood stands. 



Forest grouse (blue grouse. Decreasing 

spruce grouse, and ruffed 

grouse) 



State and tribal for hai-vest 



Fire suppression, increasing stand density, decreasing shrub and 
riparian vegetation, and a decreasing large tree component have all 
impacted blue and spruce grouse. Ruffed grouse may be increasing in 
dense mid-seral stands, but there is a lack of data. 



Bald eagle, golden eagle, 
other raptors, Swainson's 
hawk, ferruginous hawk 



Most are increasing. 

Rangeland hawks decreasing due 

to conflicts for winter range. 



U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service eind tribal 



Raptors that declined due to pesticide use and human mortality have 
generally increased with regulation of pesticides and public education. 
Decline in the large tree component; old-forest, open stand structure; 
and prey species is still a concern. Swadnson's and ferruginous hawks 
and others dependent on large open areas have declined due to 
conflicts in winter range. 



Canada goose, ducks, 
coot, heron, swans 



Geese are increasing. 
Ducks declined until a recent 
upward trend. 



State, tribal, and U.S. 
and Wildlife SerT-ace 



Fish Canada geese have responded well to artificial nest boxes, grazing, 

agriculture, and domestic grasses. All waterfowl have been impacted 
by a decline in wetlands, de-watering, lead shot, disease, and poaching. 



Bitterroot, biscuitroot, 
mariposa, yampah 



Stable, some locally impacted. 



Tribal 



Scabland species are generally not affected by livestock grazing or fire. 
Some areas are impacted by road construction and other ground 
disturbances. Some local losses noted for mariposa and yampah from past 
intensive grazing. Grazing time can conflict with tribal gathering practices. 



Willows, tules, cattails. Decreasing 

'. wocas (lilypods), wappatoo 



EPA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Ser^ace, and tribal for 
wetlands 



Degradation and loss of riparian and wetland habitat due to grazing, 
timber harvest, dewatering, mining, and roads have all caused declines 
in these species. 



Camas, yampah, beargrass No data 



Tribal 



In general, upland herblands and meadows have decreased due to fire 
suppression, grazing, conifer encroachment, soil disturbance and 
compaction due to logging, and exotic species Invasions. Impacts on herbs 
from historically heavy sheep grazing are gradually showing recovery. 



Mushrooms, elephant ears, 
morels, and other fungus 
sporocarps and beargrass 



Unknown, wild mushrooms are a 
product of diverse and complex 
interactions within natural 
ecosystems. 



Federal and state (wild 
mushroom harvesting falls 
under tribal regulation) 



Commercial mushroom harvest, land management activities, and 
catastrophic events such as fire, disease, and insect epidemics all play 
a role in fungi productivity. There has been an increase in the harvest 
of special forest products and conflict with tribal gathering practices, 
There is a need for long-term study and monitoring of many 
commercially harvested species to understand their role in the 
productivity of ecosystems. 



Huckleberry, elderberry, 
buffalo berry 



Decreasing 



Some units limit 
huckleberry gathering 



These species and other forested shrubs have declined due to 
suppression of Are, grazing, increased stand density (limiting light, 
water, and climate), and competition for harvest. 



Chokecherry, serviceberry 



Variable. Serviceberry expanded in 
some areas, but age and structure 
diversity is lower. Chokecherry in 
riparian areas has declined. 



None 



Changes to berry production and other qualities important to tribes 
are unknown. There have been increases in chokecherry harvests by 
the public. Increasing ages of shrubs due to fire suppression is a 
concern. 



Juniper 



Increasing in distribution, but 
decreasing structural diversity. 



None 



Juniper has invaded other habitat types and stands have become denser, 
older, and less diverse with fire suppression and livestock grazing 



Mountain mahogany 



Declining 



None 



Mountain mahogany is declining in some places and not regenerating. 
Stands are becoming older and lack structural and age diversity. Some 
areas are heavily browsed. Research on regeneration is needed. 



Integrated Summary of Forestland, 
Rangelandf and Aquatic Integrity 



r 



Key Terms Used in This Section 

Cluster ~ In this EIS, refers to a group of sub-basins denoting forestland and rangeland ecosystems where the 
condition of the vegetation and ecological functions and processes are similar, and where management 
opportunities and risks are similar. 

Ecological integrity ~ In general, ecological integrity refers to the degree to which all ecological components 
and their interactions are represented and functioning; the quality of being complete; a sense of wholeness. 
Absolute measures of integrity do not exist. Proxies provide useful measures to estimate the integrity of major 
ecoststem components (forestland, rangeland, aquatic, and hydrologic). Estimating these integrity 
components in a relative sense across the project area, helps to explain current conditions and to prioritize 
future management. Thus, areas of high integrity would represent areas where ecological function and 
processes are better represented and functioning than areas rated as low integrity. 

Sub-basin ~ Equivalent to a 4th-field Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC), a drainage area of approximately 800,000 
to 1,000,000 acres. 

Subwatershed ~ Equivalent to a 6th-field HUC, a drainage area of approximately 20,000 acrs. Hierarchically, 
subwatersheds 6th-field HUC) are contained within a watershed (5th-field HUC), which in turn is contained 
within a sub-basin (4th-field HUC). This concept is shown graphically in Figure 2-1 in Chapter 2. 

Strongholds (fish) ~ Watersheds that have the following characteristics: (1) presence of all major life-history 
forms (for example, resident, fluvial, and adfluvial) that historically occurred within the watershed; (2) 
numbers are stable or increasing, and the local population is likely to be at half or more of its historical size or 
density; (3) the population or metapopulation within the watershed, or within a larger region of which the 
watershed is a part, probably contains at least 5,000 individuals or 500 adults. , 



Introduction 

Unless otherwise noted, information in this 
section is based on the Integrated Scientific 
Assessment/or Ecosystem Management in the 
Interior Columbia Basin and Portions of the 
Klamath and Great Basins (Qulgley at al. 
1996a) and a more detailed paper describing 
the integrity work (Sedell et al. on file at the 
Walla Walla Office of the ICBEMP). 

Up to this point, Chapter 2 has presented 
background descriptions of historical and 
current conditions of various components and 
processes in the project area. Information on 
forestland, rangeland, and aquatic ecosystems 
was organized by potential vegetation groups or 
watersheds and summarized by ecological 
reporting unit (ERU) where possible. 



While ERUs provide a convenient way to 
summarize initial scientific information by 
geographical area, understanding the bigger 
picture across a large, complex landscape 
requires a more integrated summary to show 
how the existing conditions relate to each other 
and to identify where overall ecological 
conditions, opportunities, and risks are similar. 
To provide this integrated picture, the Science 
Integration Team evaluated all the information 
available and summarized current conditions 
around groupings or "clusters" of 4th-field 
Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs), also known as 
sub-basins. (See Table 2-3 and the 
Introduction to Chapter 2 for more information 
on HUCs.) 

Each sub-basin was rated for various levels of 
"integrity" from separate aquatic, terrestrial, 
and hydrological viewpoints. These viewpoints. 






or integrity layers, were then analyzed together, 
or integrated, to provide a more unified view. 
This effort revealed groups or clusters of sub- 
basins that exhibit a similar set of conditions 
or characteristics, reflecting a common 
management history; terrestrial and aquatic 
conditions, and management needs, 
opportunities, risks, and conflicts. 

The integrated cluster summaries provide a 
project- wide context for the EIS Teams to tailor 
alternatives and evaluate their effects on a 
more site-specific scale (a few million acres) 
within the 144-million-acre project area. The 
cluster analysis also provides a context for 
evaluating cumulative effects. The information 
will help provide a context for land managers to 
set priorities and assess opportunities to 
contribute goods and services to the nation, by 
answering relevant questions such as: 

♦What is the current condition of the 
project area? 

♦Where are the areas in the best or worst 
shape? 

♦Where are forestlands and rangelands 
least departed from (most similar to) 
historical conditions? 

♦Where are fish communities and/or 
species most connected? 

♦Where are the healthiest watersheds 
from a hydrological perspective? 

♦ What opportunities and risks present 
themselves on the current landscape for 
future management? 



Measures were developed by the Science 
Integration Team using direct and indirect 
variables to indicate how much various 
elements have departed from historical 
conditions. For the purposes of this analysis, 
"high departure" signifies that an area is 
significantly different than the condition 
expected for its biophysical environment, and 
roughly indicates "low integrity." 

In measuring integrity, the Science Integration 
Team looked primarily at landscape features and 
fish communities, because they encompass most 
of the significant planning issues that were 
identified through the scoping process. Chapter 
1 describes the issues and the scoping process. 

Landscape Features 

♦ Potential vegetation ~ how vegetation has 
changed through time, historic and current; 
how structure and composition changed 
through time. 

♦ Fire and other disturbance regimes ~ how fire 
and other disturbance regimes have changed; 
how they affect vegetation, aquatics, and 
other resources; and how they might respond 
to future management actions. 

^Road densities ~ degree of roaded access; 
how integrity relates to roads. 

♦ Hydrologic Junction - resiliency of 
watersheds to disturbance; degree of past 
management disturbance. 

Fish Communities 



Measuring Integrity 

Precise definitions of "integrity" or wholeness of 
a system do not exist. Estimates of integrity 
are derived using proxies that represent the 
ecological functions and processes, and 
whether they are present and operating. In 
general, for the purposes of the Interior 
Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management 
Project, aquatic and terrestrial systems with 
"high integrity" were defined as those that 
consist of a mosaic of plant and animal 
communities, and have well connected, high 
quality habitats that support a diverse 
assemblage of native and desired non-native 
species that adapt to a variable environment. 



♦ Connectivity ~ how well current fish 
communities represent the full range of 
diversity and life histories; how well fish 
communities are still connected in high 
quality habitats (which also represents in 
part the condition of hydrologic systems 
and other aquatic species). 

The emphasis on landscape features and 
fish provides a geographically explicit, 
ecologically driven context for discussion of 
management alternatives. This approach 
allowed an evaluation of the range of 
integrity of forestlands, rangelands, 
watersheds, fish communities, and 
terrestrial habitats. Following are the 
individual integrity layers developed by the 
Science Integration Team: 









♦Aquatic systems with high integrity 

(highly functional) were held to be those 
with a full complement of native fishes and 
other aquatic species, well distributed in 
high quality, well connected habitats. (See 
discussion of Watershed Categories in the 
Aquatic Ecosystems section of this chapter.] 
Category 1 Watersheds have the highest 
integrity; Category 2 Watersheds have 
intermediate integrity; and Category 3 
Watersheds have the lowest integrity (see 
Map 2-36]. 

♦ Hydrologic integrity was measured on the 
basis of resiliency of watersheds to 
disturbance, and estimates of past 
management disturbances. Hydrologic 
resiliency (the ability to recover following 
impacts) was further rated according to 
degree of impact already incurred, the 
sensitivity of stream and riparian vegetation 
to impacts, and probable riparian area 
disturbance on rangelands. Areas with 
high hydrologic impact and high stream 
and riparian sensitivity are considered to 
have the lowest probable hydrologic 
integrity across the project area. Map 2-44 
shows areas with high, moderate, and low 
hydrologic integrity ratings. 

♦ Forestland ecosystem sub-basins with 
highest integrity ratings were those that 
are largely unroaded and comprised of moist 
and/or cold forest potential vegetation 
groups. Forest integrity measures included 
the percent in each potential vegetation 
group, proportion in wilderness, unroaded 
areas impacted by fire exclusion, and 
proportion of the area where fire severity 
increased and/or fire frequency declined 
significantly from historical to current times. 
Map 2-45 shows high, moderate, and low 
integrity ratings for forestlands. 

♦ Rangeland ecosystems with the highest 
overall integrity ratings were those upland 
shrublands that are less developed, less 
roaded, and more remote. In addition to 
these measures, rangeland integrity was 
based on the proportion in dry grasslands 
and dry shrublands, and the proportion of 
area in cover types affected by 
encroachment of western juniper and big 
sage. Map 2-46 shows high, moderate, and 
low integrity ratings for rangelands. 



Terrestrial Habitat Departures 

Departure values for terrestrial community 
types were developed to estimate the 
magnitude of broad-scale habitat changes in 
forestlands and rangelands within sub- 
basins. This was done to infer risks to 
current and future species viability. The 
availability of habitat within a sub-basin was 
compared to the historic range of conditions. 
It was assumed that species persistence 
within a sub-basin was not at risk if the 
current area of that species' primary habitat 
was within 75 percent of the data for 
historical condition. Risk to species 
persistence was assumed to increase 
substantially when current habitat 
availability fell below the 75 percent range of 
historical data, and persistence likelihood 
within a sub-basin was considered to 
increase as habitat availability exceeded the 
75 percent range of historical data. 
Departure values were not determined for 
cropland, exotic, urban, alpine, rock, or 
riparian community types. 



The Clusters 

When the Science Integration Team analyzed 
individual sub-basin conditions (levels of 
integrity) together, several common patterns 
were revealed across the landscape. Six 
dominant clusters or sets of conditions focus 
on forestlands (sub-basins containing at least 
20 percent forestland potential vegetation 
groups ~ dry, moist, and cold forests; see Map 
2-47), and six clusters focus on rangelands 
(sub-basins comprised of at least 20 percent 
rangeland potential vegetation groups ~ dry 
forest, dry grasslands, dry shrublands, cool 
shrublands, woodlands, riparian shrublands, 
and riparian woodlands; see Map 2-48). The 
clusters are neither mutually exclusive nor all- 
encompassing. Some sub-basins contain both 
range and forested landscapes, which may be 
in very different ecological condition; where a 
sub-basin falls into both range and forest 
clusters, the implication is that the forest parts 
of that sub-basin were evaluated as part of a 
"forest cluster," and the range parts of the sub- 
basin were evaluated as part of a "range 
cluster" analysis. Some sub-basins thus 
represent a clear set of conditions, while others 
are a mix of several conditions and risks. 




Map 2-44. 
Hydrologic Integrity 



100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



■■8 High ^~^ 4th HOC Boundaries 

E£— 3 Moderate -^^ Mdjor Roads 
1 J Low ^^ EIS Area Border 



No Integrity 
Rating 




Map 2-45. 
Forest Integrity 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



■ High ■■"^ 4th HUC BouDdaries 

* Moderate ^^^ Major Roads 

3 Low /^^ EIS Area Border 

^ No Integrity 
Rating 







Map 2^6. 
Range Integrity 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



■■■ High /^ 4th HUC Boundaries 

^ — -J Moderate ^^^ Major Roads 

^^/ BIS Area Border 



Low 



I No integrity 

Rating 




Map 2-47. 
Forest Clusters 



BLM and Forest Service 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



50 50 100 ISO km 



^^ Cluster 1 -^'V^ Major Roads 
IDIDID Cluster 2 ^^ EIS Area Border 
KSSftS cluster 3 ^"^ Cluster Boundary 



3 Cluster 4 ^^ 4th HUC Boundary 



J Cluster 5 
Cluster 6 




Map 2-48. 
Range Clusters 



BLM and Forest Setyice 
Administered Lands Only 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
"1996 



50 100 150 km 



^^3 Cluster 1 ^'^ Major Roads 
nniDJ) Cluster 2 ^^ EIS Area Border 
Cluster 3 ^^^ Cluster Boundary 



I ] Cluster 4 ^-'" 4th HUC Boundary 



^ Cluster 5 
3 Cluster 6 






For the cluster analysis, conditions within 
forest clusters and range clusters are 
summarized for the entire landscape, 
including both terrestrial and aquatic 
components. Within any cluster, the 
predominant conditions are an average ~ 
some locations within the cluster may have 
specific conditions that are better or worse 
than what is indicated. 

Forest Clusters 

Sub-basins with at least 20 percent of their area 
comprised of dry forest, moist forest, or cold 
forest potential vegetation groups were classified 
as forest clusters. Relationships among variables 
reflecting vegetative conditions, hydrologic 
sensitivity, and human-caused disturbance of 
native forests were studied to identify dominant 
patterns and differences. What emerged were six 
forest "clusters" of sub-basins with similar 
conditions. Differences among clusters were 
summarized In terms of forest conditions, 
departures in terrestrial communities, 
implications for terrestrial vertebrate species, 
hydrologic conditions, aquatic community status, 
and opportunities for management. Abbreviated 
forest cluster descriptions follow. 

Forest Cluster 1 

Sub-basins in Forest Cluster 1 represent those 
that are most intact ecologically, with the least 
loss of integrity in both forest and aquatic 
ecosystems. They are predominantly high 
elevation and tend to be dominated by 
wilderness or roadless areas, and by cold, or 
moist and cold forests. 

Forest ecosystems in this cluster are the least 
altered, although forest structure and 
composition have been simplified primarily by fire 
exclusion. These sub-basins have the lowest 
mean changes in fire frequency and severity. 

Forest habitats in this cluster provide a relatively 
high degree of security for a variety of species 
vulnerable to human exploitation and/or 
disturbance. The decline of late-seral forest 
structures within moist and cold forests in Forest 
Cluster 1 has likely had detrimental effects on 
available habitats for species associated with 
those structures. Conversely, an increased area 
in early-seral structures has likely increased the 
abundance of primarily summer foraging habitat 
for many forest ungulates (big game species). 



This cluster has the highest hydrologic tategrity 
of any forestlands in the project area. All sub- 
basins have high or moderate aquatic integrity, 
with the best overall fish conditions and the best 
watershed conditions. They support some of the 
largest blocks of watersheds supporting strong 
salmonid populations and high measures of fish 
community condition. Although introduced 
fishes are often present, they rarely dominate 
communities. Connectivity among watersheds 
supporting native fish strongholds is good, and 
strongholds for multiple species often exist in 
subwatersheds throughout these sub-basins. 

Forest Cluster 2 

These sub-basins tend to have a mix of areas of 
moderate-to-high forest and aquatic integrity. 
Moderate to large blocks of wilderness or 
roadless areas and cold or moist forests are 
associated with the best conditions. Whereas, 
roaded non-wilderness areas and dry and moist 
forests often coincide with more altered 
vegetation conditions. 

Forests in these sub-basins tend to be 
moderately to highly productive. The 
headwater areas are likely to be primarily moist 
and cold forests with the least altered 
structure and composition. Changes have been 
more substantial at mid- and lower- elevation, 
dry and moist forests where road densities are 
moderate to high and fire regimes have 
changed from non-lethal to mixed and lethal. 

Forests in this cluster provide relatively secure 
habitats for those species vulnerable to 
exploitation and/or human disturbance. Risks 
to species persistence likely have increased for 
terrestrial vertebrates that rely heavily on early- 
or late-seral structures, or for species that 
prefer small openings of non-forest, canopy 
gaps, or open understories. The overall decline 
of early-seral forest structures has probably 
reduced habitat availability for dry, moist, and 
cold forest species. 

Hydrologic integrity of the forests within these 
sub-basins is relatively high. Sub-basins have 
high or moderate aquatic integrity, with both 
strong and unproductive watersheds present. 
Blocks of strong and high integrity watersheds 
are associated with the wilderness and roadless 
areas. Fish populations show relatively little 
influence from introduced species and thus 
have good potential for long-term persistence. 



Forest Cluster 3 

Sub-basins in Forest Cluster 3 are represented 
by aquatic ecosystems that are in relatively 
good condition, but forests that are in highly 
altered and poor condition. Wilderness or 
roadless areas play a relatively insignificant 
role, and roading is moderate to extensive. 
Forests in this cluster are dominated by moist 
and dry forest potential vegetation groups. 

The moderately to highly productive forests in 
this cluster appear to have substantially 
changed structure, composition, and fire regime. 

Terrestrial species vulnerable to human 
disturbance and/or exploitation have a relatively 
limited amount of secure habitat. Risks to species 
persistence have likely increased for terrestrial 
vertebrates that rely heavily on early- or late-seral 
structures, and for species that prefer small 
openings of non-forests, canopy gaps, or open 
forests. The overall decline of early-seral forest 
structures in dry and moist forest probably has 
reduced habitat availabilities for species 
associated with those structures. 

Hydrologic integrity of these sub-basins is low 
to moderate. Most sub-basins in Forest 
Cluster 3 have moderate aquatic integrity, but 
roading densities present an uncertain 
influence on watershed conditions. There are 
pockets of high integrity fish communities and 
relatively large numbers of strongholds, and 
most communities are still dominated by native 
species. Current conditions may indicate 
highly productive and resilient aquatic 
ecosystems; however, their association with 
low-integrity forest landscapes may indicate 
that cumulative effects of disturbance in 
streams may not have been expressed yet. 

Forest Cluster 4 

Sub-basins in Forest Cluster 4 have relatively 
low forest integrity and low or moderate aquatic 
integrity. The highly altered forests are mostly 
comprised of the productive moist forest 
potential vegetation group. They tend to have 
the highest road densities in the project area, 
with few wildernesses or roadless areas. 

Forest structures and composition have been 
altered. These forests generally show moderate 
to strong change in fire severity, but less 
change in fire frequency. 



Terrestrial species vulnerable to human 
disturbance and/or exploitation have a relatively 
low amount of secure habitat presently 
available. Risks to species persistence have 
likely increased substantially for terrestrial 
vertebrates that rely heavily on early- or late- 
seral structures, and for species that prefer 
small openings. The overall decline of early- 
seral forest structures in moist forests has 
probably reduced habitat availabilities for moist 
forest species associated with those structures. 

Hydrologic integrity of these sub-basins is 
moderate. Aquatic integrity is low or moderate. 
Although the aquatic systems often have some 
connectivity, the distribution of productive or 
strong watersheds is often fragmented. 

Forest Cluster 5 

Sub-basins in Forest Cluster 5 have low forest 
integrity and low or moderate aquatic integrity. 
Forest Cluster 5 is dominated by dry forests 
that are extensively roaded and have little, if 
any, wilderness. 

Forest structure and composition have been 
substantially altered from historical conditions. 
These sub-basins show large changes in fire 
frequency but less change in fire severity. 

Relatively low amounts of secure isolated 
blocks of habitat persist for species vulnerable 
to human exploitation and /or disturbance. 
The substantial increase of late-seral forest 
structures has likely benefitted species 
preferring more densely stocked forests with a 
greater composition of shade-tolerant conifers; 
these same changes have likely reduced the 
habitat available for species preferring more 
open, park-like structures. 

Hydrologic integrity of these sub-basins is low 
to moderate. Productive watersheds are often 
patchy in distribution. Native fish strongholds 
are poorly distributed, and the likelihood of 
widely distributed fish strongholds in the 
future is low. 

Forest Cluster 6 

Sub-basins in Forest Cluster 6 are in relatively 
poor condition from both a forest and an 
aquatic perspective, with especially fragmented 
aquatic systems. Forests in this cluster are 
comprised of a variety of dry, moist, and cold 



forest potential vegetation groups. Sub-basins 
are heavily roaded with little, if any, wilderness 
or roadless areas. 

Forests are similar in composition and condition 
to those in Forest Cluster 5, but in Forest 
Cluster 6 there are more sub-basins with 
moderate and high forest integrity. There is 
also a greater mix of dry and moist forests, and 
the change in fire frequency is not as dramatic. 

Terrestrial wildlife species vulnerable to human 
disturbance and/or exploitation have a 
relatively low amount of secure habitat 
presently available. The risks to species 
persistence have likely increased for terrestrial 
vertebrates that rely heavily on early- or late- 
seral forest structures, and for species that 
prefer small openings. The overall decline of 
early-seral forest structures has probably 
reduced habitat availability for forest species 
that are associated with these structures. 

Hydrologic integrity is the lowest of any Forest 
Clusters. Aquatic systems are especially 
fragmented, with few, widely scattered native fish 
strongholds, and the poorest overall conditions 
for fish communities. For the most part, 
remaining native fishes exist in remnant and 
isolated populations scattered throughout the 
sub-basins. Many of the watersheds have been 
heavily influenced by non-native fish species. 
Some watersheds do support remnant 
strongholds and isolated populations of listed or 
sensitive fish species, or narrow endemic species. 

Table 2-3 1 summarizes conditions in the six 
forest clusters. 

Range Clusters 

Selected sub-basins that historically had at 
least 20 percent of their area comprised of dry 
grass, diy or cool shrub, and woodland 
potential vegetation groups were classified as 
range clusters. Relationships among variables 
reflecting vegetative conditions, hydrologic 
sensitivity, and human-caused disturbance 
were also used in a similar, but not identical, 
way as forest clusters. Range Cluster analysis 
identified dominant patterns and differences 
between subsets of these variables. What 
emerged were six range clusters, where sub- 
basins within clusters were more like each 
other than sub-basins in other clusters. 
Differences among clusters were summarized in 



terms of range conditions, departures in 
terrestrial communities, implications for 
rangeland vertebrate species, aquatic 
community status, and opportunities for 
management. Abbreviated range cluster 
descriptions follow. 



Range Cluster 1 
Woodlands 



Juniper 



Rangeland and aquatic integrity are low to 
moderate in Range Cluster 1 , which is 
distinguished by having large areas of western 
juniper woodland. These sub-basins support 
the highest average road densities. Very little 
is managed as wilderness or roadless, and over 
half the area is managed in range allotments. 

There has been a substantial reduction in areal 
extent of herblands and shrublands, and large 
increases in woodland area. The average area 
in cropland and pasture is low. Fire frequency 
has declined in at least half of the sub-basins, 
while fire severity has increased in 20 to 50 
percent of the area. 

Decline of herbland and shrubland types within 
this cluster suggests that persistence of 
terrestrial vertebrates such as the western sage 
grouse, pygmy rabbit, Brewer's sparrow, and 
loggerhead shrike is currently at risk. 
Conversely, increases in western Juniper 
woodlands suggest that species such as the 
plain titmouse and the Townsend's solitaire 
would be favored. 

Hydrologic integrity of these sub-basins ranges 
from low to moderate, and the riparian 
environment integrity commonly is low. A few 
areas support above average numbers of fish 
species or important salmonid stocks and 
habitats that could be connected to larger 
functional networks, but overall aquatic 
integrity is low to moderate, with watersheds in 
Categories 2 or 3. 

Rmtge Cluster 2 ~ High Integrity 
Dry Forest Ranges 

Rangeland and aquatic integrity are high in 
Range Cluster 2. There are large blocks of 
wilderness and minimally roaded areas. These 
dry, forested ranges are generally in the lower 
elevations and have little area managed as 
range allotments. 



. , s"C3r^is;^^Kn.^j^^f^s^!.^^^^K^p^*!" ^ ^ 



Y^*^^;;^^7^S*'*^5SSW*s^*i1s:c"f;';?^:'f;; 






Table 2-31. Summary of Forest Clusters (all lands). 








Forest Cluster 




Variable 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 








percent 






BLM/FS-admlnistered Land 


80 


86 


40 


58 


50 


35 


Potential Vegetation Groups 














Diy Forest 


13 


26 


22 


14 


43 


23 


Moist Forest 


23 


25 


33 


67 


6 


16 


Cold Forest 


47 


30 


15 


7 


4 


9 


Dry Grass/Shrub 


7 


11 


6 


3 


24 


15 


Cool Shrub 


3 


3 


1 


1 


8 


11 


Other 


8 


5 


24 


8 


15 


26 


Road Density Classes 














Low or none 


85 


62 


32 


20 


22 


36 


Moderate or higher 


15 


38 


68 


80 


78 


64 


<12" annual precipitation 


1 


4 


2 


3 


14 


14 


Fire frequency change 


37 


60 


66 


51 


60 


60 


Fire severity increase 


36 


50 


57 


47 


35 


36 


High wildland/urban fire interface risk 





17 


6 


1 


29 


10 


Moderate wildland/urban fire interface risk 


29 


61 


36 


13 


30 


23 


Forest Integrity 














Low 





10 


67 


86 


79 


59 


Moderate 





43 


33 


10 


21 


17 


High 


100 


47 





4 





24 


Range Integrity 














Low 





29 


100 


57 


100 


66 


Moderate 


61 


48 





43 





35 


High 


40 


23 














Aquatic Integrity 














Low 


5 





8 


54 


52 


87 


Moderate 


38 


59 


85 


46 


44 


13 


High 


58 


41 


7 





4 





Hydrologic Integrity 














Low 





4 


47 


12 


39 


76 


Moderate 


4 


30 


49 


54 


41 


17 


High 


96 


66 


4 


34 


20 


7 


Composite Ecological Integrity 














Low 








4 


83 


96 


100 


Moderate 





3 


96 


17 


4 





High 


100 


97 















Abbreviations used in this table: 
BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
FS = Forest Service 



Source: ICBEMP GIS data (converted to 1 km^ raster data). 









Herblands, shrublands, and woodlands (mixed 
conifer and juniper) declined significantly in 
this cluster. In some areas conifers have 
invaded historical meadows, grasslands, 
shrublands, and savannah woodlands, creating 
high fire fuel conditions. 

The decline of shrubland and herbland 
community types suggests that wildlife species 
relying on the boundaries between shrubland or 
herbland habitats and dry forests would be most 
affected by the vegetation changes in this cluster. 
The progression of mixed-conifer woodlands to 
dry forest types would affect species that prefer 
habitats comprised of sparse trees. 

Hydrologic and riparian Integrity of these sub- 
basins are high. Measures offish community 
integrity and numbers of fish strongholds are 
among the highest in the project area, with 
most watersheds in Category 1 and most sub- 
basins having two or more sensitive fish 
species. Connectivity of subwatersheds that 
function as native fish strongholds is good. 
Fish populations and communities associated 
with these sub-basins are among the most 
resilient in the project area and represent core 
distributions for many of the sensitive salmonids. 

Range Cluster 3 ~ Moderate Integrity 
Dry Forest Ranges 

Dry, forested ranges in Range Cluster 3 have 
moderate rangeland integrity and mixed 
aquatic integrity. These sub-basins contain 
little or no wildernesses or roadless areas. Less 
than half of the sub-basins are managed as 
public land range allotments. 

These sub-basins are among the most altered 
forested rangelands of the project area. Dry 
forest areas have experienced changes in 
structure and composition. Meadows, 
grasslands, shrublands, and savannah 
woodlands have been invaded by conifers, 
creating elevated fuel conditions for fires. 
Some areas are improving, but are still 
challenged by expansion of introduced exotic 
grasses and herbs. Average sub-basin 
cropland area is low to moderate. 

Terrestrial wildlife changes are estimated to be 
similar to Range Cluster 2. 

Hydrologic and riparian environment integrity 
of sub-basins within this cluster is low. For the 



most part, fish populations are fragmented and 
represented by remnant and isolated populations 
scattered throughout the sub-basins. Some 
subwatersheds support remnant native fish 
strongholds, isolated populations of listed or 
sensitive species, or narrowly endemic species. 
Many areas ai^e influenced by non-native fish 
species. Sub-basins that straddle the Columbia 
River at the base of the Cascade Mountains 
represent the migration corridor for all 
anadromous fishes entering the Columbia River 
Basin, and contain the highest number of 
sensitive species in the project area. Other areas 
have low to moderate watershed integrity and 
contain important populations of key salmonids. 

Range Cluster 4 ~ Columbia Shrub 
Steppe/Croplands 

Range Cluster 4 is composed of 33 percent 
rangelands and 56 percent croplands. The 
landscape pattern is islands of native habitat 
surrounded by agricultural lands. The BLM 
and Forest Service manage only five percent of 
this cluster. 

Sub-basins in Range Cluster 4 have the lowest 
rangeland and aquatic integrity of all rangelands 
in the project area. One wilderness lies within 
this cluster. Range allotments on public lands 
are minimal. Sub-basins in this cluster are 
distinguished from other clusters by being 
comprised primarily of cropland and pasture. 

Herblands and shrublands decreased 
significantly in these sub-basins. Of the 
grassland and shrubland areas that have not 
been converted to cropland or pasture, most 
have been overgrazed and invaded by exotic 
grass and forbs. 

Conversion of native herblands and shrublands 
to agricultural types has diminished habitat for 
a large number of wildlife species. Species 
associated with mixed-conifer woodlands have 
likely increased as a whole across the cluster. 

Hydrologic and riparian integrity of these sub- 
basins is low. Some sub-basins in Range Cluster 4 
contain major stretches of the mainstem Columbia 
and Snake Rivers, and contain the highest values 
for numbers offish species in the cluster. Other 
aquatic systems have been radically altered, and 
most native fishes in the sub-basin currently exist 
as very isolated populations, with some scattered 
salmonid strongholds. 



Range Cluster 5 ~ Moderate Integrity 
Upland Shrublands 

Sub-basins in Range Cluster 5 are comprised of 
upland shrublands with moderate integrity and 
mixed aquatic integrity. These sub-basins 
represent the bulk of the high elevation ranges. 
They are less developed, less roaded, more 
remote, and tend to be less disturbed by 
agricultural conversion or grazing than 
cropland-dominated sub-basins. 

Large areas are in the cool shrubland potential 
vegetation group, with the lowest area in 
cropland of the range clusters. Herbland 
habitats have decreased significantly. 

Declines in herbland and shrubland habitats in 
this cluster have contributed to observed declines 
in populations of several species of upland game 
birds, songbirds, raptors, ungulates, and small 
mammals. An increased area in exotic grasses 
and herbs and croplands has likely benefitted 
some non-native vertebrates. 

Hydrologic and riparian integrity of these sub- 
basins is high and moderate, respectively. 
Among rangeland clusters, these sub-basins 
support the highest diversity of salmonids and 
a relatively higher proportion of population 
strongholds. Introduced species have played 
an important role, but overall aquatic integrity 
remains moderate in some places, and good to 
excellent in others. Several sub-basins still 
have relatively high quality river corridors 
designated under the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act. Moderate or better water quality 
suggests that the potential for connection 
among some subwatersheds is still good. 

Range Cluster 6 ~ Low Integrity 
Upland Shrublands 

Both rangeland and aquatic integrity in these 
sub-basins are low. The dry shrubland 
potential vegetation group dominates upland 
shrublands. Road densities are relatively high. 
Most rangelands on public lands in this cluster 
are managed as range allotments. 

Sub-basins in this cluster are highly altered 
and have been invaded by exotic species, or 
converted to crested wheatgrass and other 
desirable exotic grasses. Herblands and 
shrublands decreased significantly. The 
amount of croplands varies. 



Declines in herbland and shrubland habitats 
have contributed to declines in populations of 
several wildlife species. The overall increase of 
mixed-conifer woodland area across the cluster 
has likely increased habitats for other species. 

Hydrologic integrity of these sub-basins ranges 
from low to moderate, and riparian integrity is 
commonly low. Sub-basins in this cluster 
represent some of the most strongly altered 
aquatic systems in the project area. Aquatic 
communities vary greatly, with a few salmonid 
strongholds, but with overall highly fragmented 
habitat and isolated fish populations. 
Introduced warm water fishes have influenced 
many lakes, and recreational fisheries 
throughout much of the area currently focus 
on introduced races. 

Table 2-32 summarizes conditions in the six 
range clusters. 

Composite Ecological 
Integrity 

The SIT recognized that there are no direct 
measures of ecological integrity and that 
assessing integrity requires comparisons against 
a set of ecological conditions and against a set of 
clearly stated management goals and objectives 
as described in the alternatives. The SIT also 
recognized that this process is not a strictly 
scientific endeavor (Wickium and Davis 1995), 
because to provide meaning, ecological integrity 
must be grounded in desired outcomes. The 
initial estimates were based on current 
understanding and information, and are not 
presumed to be absolute. 

Current composite ecological integrity was 
based on the analysis of the 164 sub-basins 
within the project area. Relative integrity 
ratings (high, moderate, low) were assigned by 
sub-basins for forestlands, rangelands, 
forestland and rangeland hydrology, and 
aquatic systems. The analysis was based on 
information from the Scientific Assessment 
(Quigley et al. 1996a, b) and understandings of 
conditions and trends. At present, 26 percent 
of the BLM- or Forest Service-administered 
lands is in high, 28 percent is in moderate, and 
46 percent is in low ecological integrity. 

Map 2-49 displays this information. 



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Table 2-32. Summary of Range Clusters (all lands). 








Range 


Cluster 






Variable 


1 


2 


3 


4 


5 


6 








percent 






BLM/FS-administered Land 


36 


81 


44 


5 


75 


55 


Potential Vegetation Groups 














Dry Forest 


29 


21 


34 


8 


10 


12 


Moist Forest 


5 


33 


28 


4 


5 


2 


Cold Forest 


1 


34 


14 





11 


4 


Dry Grass /Shrub 


32 


4 


4 


26 


45 


50 


Cool Shi-ub 


22 


1 


2 


3 


20 


9 


Other 


11 


7 


18 


59 


9 


23 


Rangeland Vegetation Groups 














Dry Rangeland (dry forest/dry grass/dry shrub) 


49 


34 


17 


30 


61 


61 


Cool Rangeland 


34 


8 


8 


3 


27 


11 


Other 


17 


58 


75 


67 


12 


28 


Road Density Classes 














Low or none 


20 


71 


30 


62 


64 


30 


Moderate or higher 


80 


29 


70 


38 


36 


70 


Cropland/pasture 


9 


3 


14 


56 


5 


17 


<12" annual precipitation 


23 


1 


2 


51 


33 


38 


Fire frequency change 


37 


51 


67 


17 


24 


17 


Fire severity increase 


18 


47 


49 


13 


16 


9 


High wildlaiid/ urban fire risk interface 


32 


7 


12 





6 


8 


Moderate wildland/urban fire risk interface 


10 


59 


33 


4 


58 


39 


Change in juniper woodland 


+ 12 

















Forest Integrity 














Low 


100 


6 


76 


79 


12 


37 


Moderate 





37 


15 


21 


27 


43 


High 





57 


9 





61 


20 


Range Integrity 














Low 


100 


6 


76 


100 


26 


79 


Moderate 





37 


15 





50 


21 


High 





57 


9 





24 





Aquatic Integrity 














Low 


39 


4 


43 


84 


37 


79 


Moderate 


61 


24 


50 


16 


57 


18 


High 





72 


7 





6 


3 


Hydrologic Integrity 














Low 


34 


6 


49 


100 


7 


44 


Moderate 


66 


16 


35 





35 


34 


High 





78 


16 





58 


22 


Composite Ecological Integrity 














Low 


100 





58 


97 


8 


80 


Moderate 





3 


32 


3 


63 


20 


High 





97 


10 





29 






Abbreviations used in this table: 

BLM = Bureau of Land Management 
FS = Forest Service 



Source: ICBEMP GIS data (converted to 1 km^ raster data). 




Map 249. 
Composite Ecological Integrity 



50 100 150 km 



INTERIOR COLUMBIA 

BASIN ECOSYSTEM 

MANAGEMENT PROJECT 

Project Area 
1996 



High 
^-— --I Moderate 
I Low 



I 1 No BLM/FS Lands 

Present in L-lUC 

-^^ 4th HUC Boundaries 

-'^V' Major Roads 



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Contents 

Introduction 1 

Alternatives Considered But Eliminated From Detailed Study 1 

Development of Alternatives Considered in Detail 1 

Mitigation 2 

Description of the Alternatives 3 

Alternative 1 6 

Alternative 2 13 

Features Common to Alternatives 3 through 7 18 

Alternatives 21 

Altemative4 28 

Alternatives 36 

Alternative 6 45 

Alternative/ , 47 

Objectives and Standards 59 

Definitions 59 

Alternative! 59 

Alternative 2 71 

Index to Table 3-5 80 

Table 3-5 (Objectives and Standards for Alternatives 3 through 7) 87 

Comparison of Alternatives 181 

Differences Between Alternatives 182 

Comparison of the Effects of the Alternatives 184 

User's Guide 205 



\= 



Key Terms 

Adaptive management ~ A type of natural resource management that implies making decisions as part of 
an on-going process. Adaptive management involves testing, monitoring, evaluation, and incorporating 
new knowledge into management approaches based on scientific findings and the needs of society. 

Disturbance ~ Any event that alters the structure, composition, or function of terrestrial or aquatic 
habitats; fire, flood, and timber harvest are examples of disturbances. 

Desired Range of Future Conditions ~ A portrayal of the land, resource, or social and economic 

conditions that are expected to result in 50 to 100 years if objectives are achieved; in this document, 
portrayed as a range of conditions. A vision of the long-term condition of the land. 

Ecological integrity ~ The elements of biodiversity and the functions that link them together and sustain 
the entire system; the quality of being complete; a sense of wholeness. 

Ecological process ~ Tlie flow and cycling of energy, materials, and orgaiiisms in an ecosystem. 

Endemic species ~ Plants or animals that occur naturally in a certain region and whose distribution is 
relatively limited to a particular locality. 

Lethal (stand-replacing) fires ~ In forests, fires in which less than 20 percent of the basal area or less than 10 
percent of the canopy cover remains; in rangelands, fires in which most of the shrub overstory or 
encroaching trees are killed. 

Maintain ~ to continue; to keep ecosystem functions, processes, and /or components (such as soil, air, 
water, vegetation) in such a condition that the ecosystem's ability to accomplish current and future 
management objectives is not weakened. Management activities may be compatible with ecosystem 
maintenace if actions are designed to maintain or improve current ecosystem conditions. 

Mature and old multi-story forest ~ Forest characterized by two or more canopy layers with generally 
mature and old trees in the upper canopy. Understory trees are also usually present. It can include both 
shade-tolerant and shade-intolerant species, and is generally adapted to a mixed fire regime of both lethal 
and non-lethal fires. ' 

Mature and old single-story forest ~ Forest characterized by a single canopy layer consisting of mature 
and old trees. Understory trees are often absent, or present in randomly spaced patches. It generally 
consists of widely spaced, shade-intolerant species, such as ponderosa pine and western larch, adapted to 
a non-lethal, high frequency fire regin-ie. 

Mature ~ Refers to ages and sizes of dominant trees that are at least at culmination of mean annual 
increment of tree stand volume growth. 

Nonlethal fire ~ in forests, fires in which more than 70 percent of the basal area or more than 90 percent of 
the canopy cover survives; in rangelands, fires in which more than 90 percent of the vegetative cover 
survives (implies that fire is occurring in an herbaceous-dominated community). 

Old Forest ~ Refers to ages and sizes of dominant trees that are significantly beyond what may be found at 
culmination of mean annual increment of tree stand volume growth. 

Proper Functioning Condition (PFC) ~ Riparian-wetland areas achieve Proper Functioning Condition 
when adequate vegetation, landf orm, or large woody debris is present to dissipate stream energy 
associated with high water flows. This thereby reduces erosion and improves water quality; filters 
sediment, captures bedload, and aids floodplain development; improves flood water retention and 
groundwater recharge; develops root masses that stabilize stream banks against cutting action; develops 
diverse ponding and channel characteristics to provide habitat and water depth, duration, and 
temperature necessary for fish production, waterfowl breeding, and other uses; and supports greater 
biodiversity. The functioning condition of riparian-wetland areas is a result of the interaction among 
geology, soil, water, and vegetation. 



Introduction 



Chapter 1 explains the purpose of, and need for, 
the action proposed by this environmental 
impact statement (EIS) . It also briefly describes 
the scoping process that identified the significant 
issues addressed by this EIS. Chapter 2 
describes resource conditions and trends. 
Chapter 3 presents a range of alternative 
management strategies, developed in response to 
the information presented in Chapters 1 and 2. 

Chapter 3 presents seven alternatives in detail. 
Alternatives 1 and 2 are each variations of a "No 
Action" alternative, while Alternatives 3 through 
7 are "action" alternatives. The term "No Action" 
does not mean no management; rather it is a 
term used in the National Environmental Policy 
Act (NEPA) to signify an alternative that is a 
continuation of current management, and no 
different action is required. 

Each action alternative was formulated through a 
multi-step process. For help in understanding these 
alternatives, please see "A User's Guide to the Action 
Alternatives" found at the end of this chapter. 



Alternatives Considered 
But Eliminated From 
Detailed Study 

During the extensive public involvement process 
that started with the publication of the Notice of 
Intent to prepare this EIS, several public groups, 
tribes and other government agencies 
participated by offering written suggestions for 
formulation of alternatives or for parts of an 
alternative. Those offering suggestions included 
several American Indian tribes, Eastside 
Ecosystem Coalition of Counties, Weyerhauser 
Corporation, Boise Cascade Corporation, World 
Wildlife Fund, and federal regulatory agencies, 
including the National Marine Fisheries Service, 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the 
Environmental Protection Agency. 

Input submitted by several American Indian 
tribes included proposals on aquatic 
conservation strategies, socio-economic 
considerations, and information relating to trust 
responsibilities. This input was considered and 
used during alternative development. 



An aquatic conservation strategy was proposed 
based in part on input from the Association of 
Forest Service Employees for Environmental 
Ethics (AFSEEE) and the Columbia River Inter- 
Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC). Much of this 
strategy has been incorporated into Alternative 
7. Additional interactions with the National 
Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, and the Environmental 
Protection Agency led to modification of aquatic 
strategies for other alternatives. 

Suggestions were reviewed by the Eastside and 
Upper Columbia River Basin EIS Teams in light 
of the purpose and need statement, issues 
identified through the public scoping process, 
the level of detail at which this EIS was written, 
information available in theScientific Assessment 
from the Science Integration Team, and the 
themes of the alternatives. To the extent the 
suggestions helped meet the purpose and need 
and address identified issues at the broad scale 
of this EIS, they were used in development of the 
"action" alternatives. 

Only one complete alternative from outside the 
government was presented for the EIS Teams' 
consideration. This came from the Association of 
Forest Service Employees for Environmental 
Ethics (AFSEEE). The EIS Teams determined 
that, taken in its entirety, the AFSEEE 
alternative did not fully address the purpose of 
and need for action. Specifically, it did not meet 
the need to support the economic and/or social 
needs of people, cultures, and communities, and 
to support predictable and sustainable levels of 
goods and services from Forest Service- and 
BLM-administered lands. Further, the proposed 
alternative was not based on the Scienti/ic 
Assessment. Although the AFSEEE alternative 
was not described in its entirety as a separate 
alternative, nor was it analyzed in detail, several 
of its elements were incorporated into Alternative 7. 



Development of 
Alternatives Considered 
in Detail 



Alternative development began with the purpose 
of and need for the proposed action described in 
Chapter 1 . Briefly, the purpose is to provide a 
coordinated approach to a scientifically sound, 
ecosystem-based management strategy for lands 
administered by the Forest Service or BLM in the 



A V JSaAMu, ^ Ai> V> hT '■uAhiHi 



project area. The need Is to restore and maintain 
long-term ecosystem health and ecological 
integrity and to support the economic and/or 
social needs of people, cultures, and 
communities, by providing predictable and 
sustainable levels of goods and services from 
Forest Service- or BLM-administered lands. 

The action alternatives (Alternatives 3 through 7) 
are all intended to meet the purpose and fulfill the 
need. The No Action alternatives (Alternatives 1 and 
2) were not designed to fully satisfy the purpose and 
need, but to provide the National Environmental 
Policy Act required benchmarks against which to 
evaluate the action alternatives. 



alternatives were developed to provide a range of 
reasonable alternative responses to identified issues. 
For example. Issue 2 is, 'To what degree, and under 
whatcircumstances,shouldrestoration be active 
(with human intervention) or passive (letting nature 
take its course)? The theme of Alternative 4 is to 
aggressively restore ecosystem health through active 
management. The theme of Alternative 7 is to 
establish a system of reserves on BLM- and Forest 
Service-administered land where the level of human 
use and management is very low (passive) , which 
allows for nature to restore ecosystem health . The 
other alternatives portray levels of human 
intervention that Ue between these two "sideboards" 
of active versus passive management. 



Alternative 1 would continue management 
specified under the existing regional guides and 
forest plans for Forest Service-administered 
lands, and resource management plans and 
management framework plans for BLM- 
administered lands. The EIS Teams did not 
describe all of these current plans in Alternative 
1 , because the plans were written at a more 
detailed scale than is appropriate for this EIS. 
Instead, planners from both agencies reviewed 
existing plans and consolidated their direction 
into objectives, standards, and guidelines that 
are representative of existing plans at the broad 
scale. The planners, in collaboration with the EIS 
Teams, then described the "desired range of 
future conditions" that was expected to result 
from the existing plans if they were successfully 
implemented. Many of the objectives and 
standards listed in Alternative 1 appear in most 
of the existing plans. However, the description of 
Alternative 1 does not include all of the decisions 
of any one current plan, nor do all of the 
objectives and standards of Alternative 1 appear 
in any one land use plan in the project area. 

Alternative 2 Includes the direction of Alternative 1 , 
and. In addition, would adopt recent interim 
sti:^tegies (PACFISH, INFISH, and Eastside Screens) 
as the direction for the long term. The desired range 
of future condition for Alternative 2 is the same as 
that for Alternative 1 , with the addition of expected 
or desired conditions to reflect long-term application 
of Interim strategies. 

The action alternatives were developed to 
respond to the seven issues identified through 
the scoping process (as described in Chapter 1) 
as well as to the resource conditions and trends 
identified by the Science Integration Team (SIT) , 
as summarized in Chapter 2. The themes of the 



Mitigation 



The alternatives include goals and objectives. 
Achieving them may require alteration of the 
physical and biological environment. However, 
the anticipated record(s) of decision for this EIS 
do not themselves fund, authorize, or carry out 
ground-disturbing activities. 

The alternatives include standards and guidelines 
that would minimize the envtronmental 
consequences associated with modifying the 
landscape. Because standards are mandatory, they 
will prevent certain future actions, or parts of them, 
from occurring (40 CFR 1 508.20(a)). Standards will 
also rninirriize environmental Impacts by limiting 
tire level of future activities (40 CFR 1 508 .20(b)) . In 
addition, each alternative Includes a component of 
restoration (40 CFR 1 508.20(c)). Thus, mitigation is 
an integral component of each of the alternatives. 

Further site-specific mitigation measures will be 
adopted in conjunction with projects 
implementing this decision. Such decisions will 
be preceded by additional environmental 
analysis, at which time additional concerns 
regarding mitigation will be addressed. 



Description of the Alternatives 



^ 



What Is Restoration? 



Restoration is a term and concept used as a basis for several of the action alternatives. It means to restore the 
functions and/or processes associated with certain ecosystem components. In a general sense, it relates to achieving 
and /or maintaining more sustainable conditions over time. Alternatives 4, 6, and 7 heavily emphasize restoration to 
achieve more sustainable ecosystem function, structure, and process. A combination of active and passive actions are 
anticipated to achieve the goals and objectives of these alternatives. Restoration can take on many forms, and some 
of these are briefly discussed below. 

Active Restoration ~ Investments of time, money and human resources are generally necessary for active restoration. 
As described in Table 3-12 and in other parts of the DEIS, active restoration can include a variety of activities. 

Livestock management includes improved grazing systems, changing riparian management grazing practices, 
season of use, herding, number of animals, distribution, and kind of animals. Restoration of rangeland resources 
can be influenced by improved combinations of livestock management techniques. 

Improving rangelands includes investments in fencing, stock water improvements, seedings, control of exotic 
weeds, and control of shrubs and juniper expansion. Active control of exotic weeds can benefit wildlife through 
improved habitat and soil and hydrologic functions, which can result in more natural or favorable fire regimes. 

Upland restoration and riparian restoration includes improved road maintenance, plantings, instream channel 
improvements and riparian exclosures. Closed roads closed that still have a negative effect in the watershed can 
be obliterated and put back to the original slope. 

Decreasing the negative impacts of roads includes decreasing road density through obliteration or permanent 
closures of primarily native surfaced roads, improving location and drainage, improving stability, reducing 
sediment, and more effective maintenance. 

Prescribed fire includes the ignition of fire under controlled conditions to reduce fuels or alter species 
composition, structure, or stocking. 

Prescribed natural fire is generally guided by approved fire management plans and is intended to reintroduce 
fire into ecosystems to achieve multiple benefits. 

Timber harvest can be used to alter stocking, species composition and distribution, structure, serai stage, habitat 
condition, and favor large trees that are more resistant to fire, insects and disease. Patterns can be created that 
are more sustainable and resilient to catastrophic disturbances. 

Thinning can be used to effectively reduce stocking levels and associated stresses, and alter species composition 
to more desirable mixes. 

Active measures, such as reduction in stand density, fuels, and patterns of vegetation can help reduce risks in 
urban/rural/ wi Idland interface lands, thus helping to sustain desirable wildland conditions. 

Active restoration also includes such activities as altering recreation sites to improve streambank and 
sedimentation conditions. Managing vegetation patterns across the landscape can restore more sustainable mixes 
of successional stages in both rangelands and forestlands. These patterns can then contribute to better functioning 
connective corridors to improve genetic interactions of species. Investments are often needed to reconnect 
fragmented aquatic habitats that impede movement and interactions of species. Reduction of fuels in wildland / 
urban interface areas can protect other resources and improvements over time. 

It can be expected that some activities will be designed and implemented to meet several objectives, including both social/ 
economic and ecological restoration objectives. Some watersheds, for example, currently contain road systems which are 
negatively impacting aquatic species. These same watersheds may also have existing vegetation conditions which are 
undesirable. Carefully designed activities could address both the undesirable vegetation and road/ watershed conditions in 
ways that improve the ecosystem over time, and also provide employment opportunities. 



J 






(T 



What Is Restoration? (continued) 



=\ 



Passive Restoration ~ Restoration of riparian function is often achieved by passive protective actions which allow 
vegetation, sediment flow and channel development to occur naturally. Aquatic conservation strategies establish 
priorities and protection for riparian areas and restrict activities that could degrade these values. Through this 
combination of restricting certain management activities, and allowing natural processes to work, riparian restoration 
can be successful. 

In conjunction with active measures such as road closures, other objectives can often be achieved passively. For 
example, maintaining or restoring fisheries and wildlife habitats, reducing pressure on isolated populations, or 
retaining large dead or downed trees can occur naturally in some areas by reducing or restricting human access. 
Seasonal road closures can also benefit wildlife species or reduce the risk of human-induced wildfires. 

Often policy decisions or direction can help restore ecosystem function or condition without requiring additional direct 
expenditures. Retention of connective corridors, snags, or large shade intolerant trees, such as ponderosa pine are 
done more by design than by investments. Strategies used to suppress wildfire often have long-term resul ts affecting 
pattern and structure on the landscape. Restoration of favorable fire regimes can be achieved in part by how current 
fire policies are applied or altered. 

Spatial Considerations ~ The forest and range clusters generally describe opportunities and priorities for restoration. 
These are augmented by activity tables indicating expected activity levels by cluster and by alternative. Between 
Draft and Final EIS, the Project staff intend to develop more spatially specific information and p